Joel Embiid put on a show with his father in the stands for the first time this season, collecting 26 points and 14 rebounds while leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 117-91 win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
Embiid’s spin move into a one-handed jam earned a smile and applause from Thomas Embiid, a colonel in the Cameroon military who is visiting from the family’s home country and plans to spend a few weeks with his MVP candidate son. Growing up, Embiid had to convince his father that basketball wasn’t a dangerous game and he didn’t have to abide by Thomas’ wishes of becoming an elite volleyball player.
Embiid was aces against the Knicks.
The 7-footer had 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the first half alone. He finished with his NBA-best 21st double-double and helped the Sixers improve to 11-1 at home.
Philly’s last home game was a rare disaster, a 121-112 loss to woeful Cleveland on Friday. Coach Brett Brown said the Sixers didn’t play with spirit against the Cavs. They played with purpose against the road-weary Knicks.
JJ Redick hit four 3s and scored 24 points and Ben Simmons had 14 points. Jimmy Butler hit a 3 in the third to make it 86-58 and give the Sixers a KO victory with former middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins sitting courtside.
Enes Kanter and Mario Hezonja each scored 17 points for the Knicks. The Knicks have played nine of 12 games on the road and were coming off a 115-108 loss to Detroit on Tuesday.
Embiid had his 18th game of the season with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds and could have grabbed a seat with his father and chilled out in the fourth. The Sixers emptied the bench and won for the sixth time in seven games.
Knicks: Coach David Fizdale said struggling draft picks Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson will not be sent to the G League.
76ers: The Sixers hope to provide a medical update on 2017 No. 1 draft pick Markelle Fultz on Friday. Fultz has not played since his agent shut him down and wanted an examination of the guard’s right shoulder. Fultz had said he wasn’t hurt and the decision came a day after he appeared to lose his backup point guard spot. “There’s been nothing more to talk about,” Brown said.
Knicks: Host Milwaukee on Saturday.
76ers: Host Washington on Friday.
Source: The Associated Press