Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid has been ruled out of Saturday’s Game 4 of the Eastern Conference first-round series versus the host Brooklyn Nets due to a sprained right knee.
Embiid was limping several times during Philadelphia’s 102-97 win in Game 3 on Thursday. He finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds and also made a key block on Spencer Dinwiddie in the final seconds after Tyrese Maxey hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 44.7 seconds left.
The win gave the 76ers a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Sixers coach Doc Rivers said Saturday that tests following Game 3 revealed some soreness behind Embiid’s knee. Rivers also indicated he did not know if Embiid would be available if the series continued to Game 5 on Monday in Philadelphia.
“From my understanding they checked his knee out right after the game because he was complaining about some soreness behind the knee,” Rivers said. “(It) is always a scary thing when it’s behind the knee.”
In addition to recording the key block, Embiid avoided getting ejected after kicking Brooklyn center Nic Claxton in the groin early in the first quarter.
Claxton dunked and Embiid fell to the floor after committing a foul. Claxton stepped over Embiid, who kicked the former and received a flagrant-1 foul.
Embiid, 29, played in 66 games during the regular season, two shy of his career high set during the 2021-22 season.
The Sixers went 11-5 when Embiid was held out, including a home win over the Nets on November 25 and a blowout victory in Brooklyn on April 9.
“They’ve had practice at this,” Rivers said. “We got a confident group. We got a deep basketball team.”
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