Celtics lose to 76ers in the 1st Game of Eastern Conference Finals without the services of the MVP Joel Embiid. The Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics ended in a 119-115 on the road behind 45 points from James Harden. Rivers said Embiid shot some after his shoot-around, but he hasn’t done any running yet. He was also seen getting up shots after the team’s practice Sunday.
When asked what it will take for Embiid to get back on the court, Rivers said it’ll just be a matter of the doctors telling him that he’ll be available to play. Paul Reed started in Embiid’s place at center and had 10 points and 13 rebounds and hit big free throws down the stretch to help seal the win against the Celtics.
76ers get passed Celtics even with Embiid’s injury
Embiid suffered his knee injury when he landed awkwardly after contesting a drive-by Brooklyn Nets forward Cam Johnson in Game 3 of Philadelphia’s first-round sweep on April 20. Philadelphia went on to win Game 4 to close the Nets out two days later, with Rivers saying after that game it was “probably less than 50 percent” Embiid would be ready to go for the start of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The 76ers were given an additional couple of days of rest when the Atlanta Hawks pushed their first-round series with the Celtics to six games, moving the beginning of the series to Monday rather than Saturday.
Ultimately, though, it wasn’t enough time for Embiid to get on the court. But the Sixers continued their trend of success in Embiid’s absence, improving to 13-5 without their superstar this season. Last year, the 76ers lost in the second round, while the Celtics made the 2022 NBA Finals for the first time since the 2010 season (they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games).
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