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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Rivers doubts Embiid plays in Celtics opener

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WASHINGTON—NBA scoring champion Joel Embiid is doubtful to play in Monday’s opening game of Philadelphia’s second-round playoff series against Boston on Monday, 76ers coach Doc Rivers said on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Cameroonian 7-footer (2.13m) suffered a sprained right knee in game three of the 76ers’ sweep over Brooklyn in their best-of-seven first-round series.

Joel Embiid AFP

Embiid, who averaged 33.1 points and 10.2 rebounds a game for the Sixers, will have rested for 10 days before the 76ers visit Boston for the opener against the Celtics.

“He didn’t do anything today,” Rivers said after a weekend workout. “If I was a betting man, I would probably say doubtful for at least game one, but we’ll see.”

In four games against Boston this season, Embiid averaged 36.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists.

The Celtics went 3-1 against the 76ers this season.

Embiid missed the first two games of last year’s second round of the playoffs against Miami with a right orbital bone fracture and the Sixers lost to the Heat in six games.

Embiid also missed playoff games in 2018 with a left orbital fracture.

Boston has won five consecutive playoff series against Philadelphia, which last ousted the Celtics in the post-season in 1982 Eastern Conference finals.

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