Embiid returns from injury, powers 76ers past Hawks 104-101

Nov 28, 2022, 4:42 AM | Updated: 7:45 pm

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, right, goes up for a shot against Atlanta Hawks' Clint Capela during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid won one for the 76ers in 60 seconds.

Embiid scored seven of his 30 points in the final minute, including go-ahead 14-footer with 18.6 seconds left, and led Philadelphia past the Atlanta Hawks 104-101 in his return from a sprained left foot on Monday night.

“You want to be able to make the last plays so your team wins,” Embiid said.

He made them all at the end.

Embiid showed why he is so valuable to the Sixers when he twisted inside for a bucket with 56 seconds remaining that pulled the Sixers within 100-99. The Sixers forced a shot clock violation with 31 seconds left and that’s when their All-Star center went to work for his biggest plays of the night.

The Hawks still had a chance after Embiid’s big shot put Philly ahead 101-100. Embiid busted up Trae Young’s lob pass in the paint to cut off a potential go-ahead score. Embiid then made three of four free throws in the last few seconds as the crowd roared “MVP! MVP!” for Philly’s favorite player.

“Whenever I was needed, that’s when I felt like I needed to turn it on,” Embiid said.

Tobias Harris scored 24 points and Shake Milton had 21 for the Sixers.

Young and De’Andre Hunter led the Hawks with 18 points apiece.

Embiid missed the last four games with his foot injury and the Sixers didn’t miss a step. They went 3-1 over that span with James Harden and Tyrese Maxey also still out with foot injuries while players such as Milton and Paul Reed lifted them in big moments. That wasn’t lost on Embiid.

“I came in with the mindset to get my teammates involved,” Embiid said. “Everyone had played so well, I just wanted to keep that going.”

The 76ers clearly need their big man. The 76ers can only hope they wins will keep coming with Harden and Maxey soon due to return.

“Can we play the same way when everybody’s back? That will be the key for us,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said.

Embiid went 9 of 18 from the floor, sank 12 of 13 free throws and had eight rebounds and seven assists in 35 minutes.

“His ability to take over games, especially in the fourth quarter, has been huge for us,” Harris said. “We’d have loved to have him back earlier. It was good to have him back tonight.”

The reigning NBA scoring champion, Embiid needed some time to warm up. He missed his first four shots before sinking one in the second quarter but still finished with 14 points at the break.

The Sixers, winners at Orlando a night earlier, kept feeding Embiid and he got his groove back. He converted a three-point play in the third that tied the game at 75-all and brought the Sixers back from 16 down. Georges Niang and AJ Griffin swapped 3s that made it 80-80.

“Someone’s going to win this ugly game,” Rivers said he thought on the sideline. “Let it be us.”

It was the Sixers, in part because of the contributions again from players making the most of their opportunities of late.

Milton’s playing time expanded as the Sixers became riddled with injuries. He entered this season averaging 9.7 points and then scored at least 22 in four of the last five games. He shook off a 3-of-10 start in the first half to go 5 of 8 for 11 points in the third. Milton and Harris knocked down key shots that pecked at the Hawks’ double-digit lead.

“They made timely baskets,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “We were making a run or we were able to get a lead, they made timely baskets to keep it close.”

INJURIES

Hawks: Jalen Johnson (right ankle soreness) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (right knee injury recovery) missed the game.

TURNOVER BATTLE

Young’s late turnover was one of 20 by the Hawks that led to 19 Sixers points. The Hawks had seven turnovers in the fourth quarter, three by Dejounte Murray.

“That’s where the execution comes in,” McMillan said. “We had a couple of costly turnovers late in the game.”

UP NEXT

Hawks: Play Wednesday at Orlando.

76ers: Play Wednesday at Cleveland.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Kansas State forward Keyontae Johnson (11) shoots under pressure from Kansas forward K.J. Adams Jr....
Associated Press

Keyontae Johnson at No. 5 K-State to face ex-Gator teammates

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — There are still a handful of players left at Florida who remember the exact moment, during a timeout against rival Florida State more than two years ago, that Keyontae Johnson collapsed to the floor and time seemed to stand still. Johnson was loaded onto a stretcher, taken to the hospital and […]
1 day ago
FILE - Ireland head coach Andy Farrell watches his players warm-up ahead of the rugby international...
Associated Press

6 Nations: France, Ireland set for duel under Netflix glare

Rugby’s oldest championship is getting a modern twist with the Netflix streaming service being given a behind-the-scenes look at the 2023 Six Nations for a docuseries released next year. It should help to broaden the sport’s appeal, driving more interest in the United States especially ahead of the country hosting a Rugby World Cup for […]
1 day ago
FILE - Oklahoma City Thunder's Chet Holmgren (7) drives against Houston Rockets' Jabari Smith II du...
Associated Press

Analysis: It may be time to re-think NBA All-Star voting

It’s reasonable to think Chet Holmgren will be an NBA All-Star one day. He was a highly recruited high school player whose one year at Gonzaga was stellar enough for Oklahoma City to make him the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft. He’s an obvious talent, an enormous talent. And it’s terrible that Holmgren […]
1 day ago
Ludvig Aberg of Sweden tees off on the 8th hole during his first round on Day Two of the Dubai Dese...
Associated Press

McIlroy and Reed both 6-under after 1st round in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed produced big first-round finishes at the Dubai Desert Classic on Friday in what could lead to an intriguing showdown as the competition heads to a Monday conclusion. LIV Golf series players Richard Bland and Ian Poulter were tied atop the leaderboard at 8-under overall […]
1 day ago
Novak Djokovic, left, of Serbia is congratulated by Tommy Paul of the U.S. after their semifinal at...
Associated Press

Paul says Djokovic thwarted his Australian Open gameplan

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Tommy Paul went into his first career Grand Slam semifinal with a specific game plan to confront Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open. Makes sense, right? Have to approach that sort of match with a way you think will help you win. And then, Paul explained, it all fell apart rather […]
1 day ago
Iowa guard Kate Martin, center, celebrates with forward Monika Czinano, fourth from right, and Cait...
Associated Press

Big Ten’s depth poses strong challenge for women’s title run

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — It took four days for the No. 2 Ohio State women to go from unbeaten to second place in the Big Ten. If the Buckeyes don’t find a fix quickly, coach Kevin McGuff knows the slide could accelerate. Here, in perhaps the top women’s basketball conference as February looms, nothing is […]
1 day ago
Embiid returns from injury, powers 76ers past Hawks 104-101