Embiid gets late block as Maxey, 76ers take 3-0 lead on Nets

LABORING throughout the game and perhaps lucky to not have been ejected for kicking a Nets player in the groin area, Joel Embiid told himself he had to stay on the floor.

Even if the Nets kept hitting him or trying to make him lose his cool, he needed to be there for his Philadelphia 76ers.

“You could see what the game plan was. Got to hit him, try to make me frustrated so I could get ejected,” Embiid said. “So, I’m too mature to put myself in a position where I’m going to be ejected, so I just went about my business and we got the win.”

Thanks in part to his huge block at the end.

Embiid blocked a potential tying basket with 8.8 seconds left and the 76ers beat Brooklyn 102-97 on Thursday night (Friday morning, April 21, 2023 PH time) to take a 3-0 lead in the first-round series.

Tyrese Maxey made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 44 seconds left for the 76ers, who can sweep their way into the second round with a victory Saturday (Sunday PH time) in Brooklyn.

With James Harden having been ejected in the third quarter for another groin shot and Embiid not looking like his usual dominant self, Maxey took over the offense and scored eight straight points, turning a five-point deficit into a 99-96 lead on his 3-pointer.

“Tonight, when our ball handler, our leader, went out, take that role in the fourth quarter and help us get into our stuff, help us win the game,” Maxey said. (AP)