Embiid has 29, Sixers use late run to beat Clippers, 112-98
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — JJ Redick wasn’t buying any of it.
Midway through the fourth quarter of the Philadelphia 76ers’ 112-98 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, Joel Embiid had an ugly fall and took a seat at the end of the bench.
“I think me and about 20,000 people held our breaths for the entire time,” guard T.J. McConnell said.
Redick was breathing just fine.
“Joe is very dramatic,” Redick said. “I’ve played with a lot of good actors in my career, and he’s definitely in the top three. He could have a future in Hollywood if he wanted to.”
Embiid drove on Clippers guard Tyrone Wallace, lost control of the ball and slipped trying to get it back. He fell to the floor and banged his knee with his fist a few times before getting up and slowly walking to the bench.
“There’s a difference between agony and selling a foul,” Redick said. “We all do it. It’s part of the game. I wasn’t concerned.”
Turns out, Redick was right.
Embiid was fine. He returned to the game with 4:53 left and later made a free throw to cap an 8-0 run that sealed the Sixers’ third straight win.
“My hand got tangled inside my leg as I was reaching for the ball. Nothing happened,” Embiid said. “I kind of hit my knee on the floor, but I feel great.”
A game-time decision for the second straight night with a sore ankle, Embiid was playing in back-to-back games for just the second time in his career. He finished with 29 points and matched a career high with 16 rebounds in 34 minutes.
“I was getting tired,” said Embiid, who moments before the tumble barely drew iron on a short jumper.
After the game, he quickly grew tired of being interrogated.
“Can we just stop talking about my knee?” he said.
Embiid had plenty of help Saturday night. Redick had 17 points, including 5 of 10 from 3, and McConnell had 17 along with eight assists. Ben Simmons had 14 points and 10 assists.
Philadelphia was 10 for 17 from 3 in the first half and led 69-55 at halftime.
The Sixers cooled off in the third, going 1 for 10 from 3, and committed five turnovers, allowing the Clippers to creep within six and enter the fourth down 85-78.
The Clippers got within 95-93 with 6 minutes left, but McConnell hit a tough turnaround in the paint, and Redick nailed his final 3.
“I just thought they were fresher tonight,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “They played last night, too — obviously they didn’t have to travel. It felt like every loose ball and 50-50 play, they got.”
Former Sixers guard Lou Williams led the Clippers with 23 points, and Danilo Gallinari had 22.
Philadelphia ended the game on a 17-5 run.
“This was a great win. This is one of our best wins of the season. I really believe that,” said Redick, who spent the last four seasons with the Clippers.
“It always feels good to beat your former team. Nothing but love for those guys over there, but that last 3-pointer, I emphasized that a little bit. That was ballgame. That felt good.”
And fortunately, so does Embiid.
“For a quick moment there, I was worried,” coach Brett Brown said, “but they cleared him to come back in and play . and life’s still good.”
Clippers: Los Angeles had its three-game win streak snapped and is 3-2 since trading Blake Griffin to Detroit.
76ers: Simmons was the only starter who didn’t hit a 3 (he didn’t attempt one). In addition to Redick’s five, Embiid, Dario Saric and Robert Covington made one apiece. McConnell made all three of his 3-point attempts, and Justin Anderson hit two.
The Sixers will sign veteran shooting guard Marco Belinelli once he clears waivers on Monday. A person with knowledge of the plans confirmed the move, which was first reported by ESPN, to The Associated Press.
Belinelli also supplied his own confirmation of sorts with a tweet reading, “TRUST THE PROCESS.”
The Atlanta Hawks reached a buyout agreement with the 31-year-old Belinelli, who is averaging 11.4 points and shooting 37.2 percent from 3 this season.
PHILLY OR ... OKLAHOMA?
Before taking questions before the game, Rivers announced he was making an opening statement.
“Walking around Philly, people are so happy now. It’s amazing,” Rivers said, referencing the city’s reaction to the Eagles’ first Super Bowl championship. “I’ve never seen this before. People said, ‘Good luck.’ I was like, ‘Wow, I’m in Oklahoma.’”
Fans greeted Williams with a “Loooouuu!” chant when he first entered the game. Williams spent his first seven NBA seasons with the Sixers, who selected him in the second round of the 2005 draft.
Williams followed by hitting his first four shots, including a pair of 3s.
DAILY EAGLES WATCH
Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox was in attendance and received a standing ovation upon being introduced.
Friday night, receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith were in attendance.
Clippers: Continue their seven-game road trip at Brooklyn on Monday.
76ers: Host the New York Knicks on Monday.
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