The Philadelphia 76ers will try to complete its NBA playoff sweep of the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday without star centre Joel Embiid, who has been ruled out with a right knee sprain.
Embiid was injured in Thursday’s 102-97 victory over the Nets, noticeably limping in the late stages of the victory as he finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and a crucial blocked shot with eight seconds left in the game.
An MRI exam on Friday revealed the extent of the injury, and the 76ers confirmed in their injury report that he was out of the contest.
It’s the latest injury to shadow the playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers announcing earlier on Friday that two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard would miss a second straight game with a sprained right knee when the Clippers host the Phoenix Suns in game four of their series on Saturday.
Leonard had 38 points, five rebounds, five assists, one block and one steal in the Clippers’ 115-110 game one win in Phoenix. He had 31 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals in their game two defeat and sat out their game three loss.
Leonard’s absence is a huge blow to a Clippers team already expecting to be without injured star Paul George for the entire first round.
Milwaukee’s two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Memphis Grizzlies All-Star guard Ja Morant have also been sidelined.
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Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said Antetokounmpo was “doing everything he can to make himself available to play” after suffering a bruised back in a collision with Miami’s Kevin Love in game one of their series.
Meanwhile, Miami’s Tyler Herro had surgery on Friday on the broken right hand he suffered in the opening game of that series.
The Sixers will be hoping Embiid will be ready to return before long.
They take a commanding 3-0 lead over the Nets into game four in Brooklyn knowing no NBA team has come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.
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