The Philadelphia 76ers happily welcomed back their superstar center Joel Embiid to the starting lineup after missing nine games in the NBA’s Health and Safety protocols. Embiid was exceptional in his return, putting up a stat line of 42 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Still, it wasn’t enough as the Sixers lost 121-120 in double overtime to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.
42 PTS | 14 REB | 3 AST@JoelEmbiid came back in a big way last night.— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 28, 2021
🎥 presented by @PALottery pic.twitter.com/5tdlseydI1
Embiid, who logged 45 minutes in his first game back after testing positive for COVID-19, talked about his experience with the illness with reporters. The All-Star center described his experiences with the virus causing breathing issues with bad headaches. Something he struggled with mightily.
“I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. It was that bad.” 😳— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 28, 2021
Joel Embiid’s bout with COVID-19 was worse than he ever imagined. pic.twitter.com/JE3zK0PElT
What was even more impressive was that he almost did not play in the game via CNN.
“Honestly, I did not think I was going to play tonight after the workout last night,” Embiid said. “Really couldn’t go up and down more than three times. I guess, to me, it’s a miracle I even played this many minutes.”
The Sixers had lost eight of their last 10 games without Embiid since Nov. 6 and are currently 10-10 on the season.
The Sixers (10-10) return to the court Monday against the Orlando Magic (4-17).