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Joel Embiid (knee soreness) to rest vs. Pacers

The Philadelphia 76ers will be without their star center for a showdown against a fellow Eastern Conference contender.

Joel Embiid will not play in Tuesday’s matinee against the Indiana Pacers (3 ET, League Pass) because of left knee soreness. Embiid played in the Sixers’ last seven games, averaging 26.6 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 blocks in 31.8 minutes per game. Only one game separates Indiana from Philadelphia in the East standings.

Philadelphia went 3-4 during Embiid’s seven-game stretch, notching a big win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Christmas Day, but then losing its next two games (against Orlando and Miami, respectively).

The Sixers beat the Pacers 119-116 in the first meeting between the teams on Nov. 30 in Philadelphia. In that game, Sixers guard Ben Simmons sealed the victory with three big steals down the stretch. Embiid was particularly strong in that game as well, finishing with 32 points and 11 boards while going 15-for-15 from the free throw line.

Embiid’s absence means Al Horford will likely move over to center and other frontcourt adjustments will take place. In the last game Embiid missed — a Dec. 15 loss to the Brooklyn Nets — backup forward Mike Scott got a starting spot.