Reigning Kia MVP Joel Embiid returns to start Game 2 of the 76ers’ playoff semifinal series against the Boston Celtics. The Philly big man scored his 15th point in 26 minutes, but the Celtics won him 121-87 and tied the series with him 1-1.
Embiid was cleared to play after a follow-up practice after a successful shootaround Wednesday morning and the team arrived at TD Garden in the afternoon.
Tonight’s first five:
🔔 PJ Tucker
🔔 @Joel Embiid
👕 @alcouniforms pic.twitter.com/MXaoNRMdV5
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) May 3, 2023
Embiid said in his morning news conference that he needs to see how his sprained right knee feels before Wednesday night’s game before discussing winning the NBA MVP award. Determination from doctors and team trainers is pending.
Embiid was injured in Game 3 of the Sixers’ first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets and missed Game 4 of the series tiebreaker on April 22, which the Sixers won 119-115.
Embiid’s return is welcome news for the Sixers. He was named the Kia MVP on Tuesday and has been the fulcrum for Philly all season.
Embiid, 29, from Cameroon, is averaging 33.1 points this season as he wins his second straight title. He also averaged a career-high 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He played in 66 games, the second-highest number of appearances in his career.
Embiid missed two games in the 2022 Eastern Conference semifinals and another game in the 2021 first round due to various injuries. Additionally, he missed two games to start the 2018 playoffs with a fractured orbit and another game in 2019 with a knee problem.
He’s averaging 36.8 points and 11.8 rebounds in four games with the Celtics this season.
This report uses information from The Associated Press.
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