Monday, March 1

Joel Embiid, Sixers prepares for Bulls at home

Even with a reluctant back, Joel Embiid continues to perform at an extremely high level.

Starting with Friday’s home game against the Chicago Bulls, the question is this: Can the Philadelphia 76ers All-Star keep playing every night?

Despite wincing in Wednesday’s 118-113 win over the Houston Rockets, Embiid had 31 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in 37 minutes.

It was Embiid’s seventh game this season with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds. Embiid could be seen stretching his back during timeouts against the Rockets.

Can you continue to overcome the discomfort?

“It’s not alarming,” Embiid said. “As NBA players, we play every night, and the body is sore and you have to take care of yourself. It’s normal. It’s just tension. As the days go by, some days it’s tighter than usual; some days it’s not. “

Embiid had a bad back injury during a heavy loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on January 27 and missed Monday’s road loss to the Utah Jazz.

“Obviously in Utah, and even during the Suns game and after the Suns game, it got tighter than usual,” Embiid said. “Today, especially when we started the game, it was tighter than usual … I just have to go home and continue doing what I’ve been doing and I’ll be fine.”

Ben Simmons missed the game against the Rockets with a stomach illness. Backup Shake Milton was also affected by ankle pain. The status of both players remains unclear for the game against the Bulls.

Seth Curry (25 points) and Tobias Harris (24 points, 15 rebounds) took over without Simmons and Milton.

The Bulls will be looking for their third straight win when they visit the Sixers.

In their most recent game, they bounced back from a 25-point deficit and outscored the Detroit Pistons 105-102 on Wednesday.

Zach LaVine led the way with 37 points to help catapult the Bulls to the biggest comeback win in the league this season.

Bulls head coach Billy Donovan was clearly upset with his starting unit as he made several lineup changes in the second half. The strategy worked.

“As professionals, you expect them to go to the locker room, regroup, realize that some changes are going to be made,” Donovan said. “When they call my number, I have to be ready and prepared, and I thought those guys did that.”

Thad Young, a former Sixer, gave the Bulls a huge spark off the bench with nine points and 10 rebounds. The Bulls, who have lost five straight games in Philadelphia, will likely be without Otto Porter Jr. for a ninth straight game with back spasms.

LaVine was excellent in the third quarter when the Bulls mounted a big comeback. Their overall defense was better as they limited the Pistons to just 12 points in that quarter.

“It’s a flip of the switch,” LaVine said. “Sometimes you have to go out and do a play.”

Coby White struggled in the first half, but responded well in the fourth. White finished with eight points and six rebounds.

“I need to grow up a little bit,” White said. “It was a learning experience for me. I have to accept the challenge.”

–Field level media

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