Back-to-Back Closes Hosting Memphis

by Lauren Rosen

The 76ers (34-15) are facing a quick turnaround, hosting the Memphis Grizzlies (23-23) at The Center Sunday for the second half of a back-to-back.

The Sixers notched a 122-113 win over the Timberwolves to open the back-to-back, but that wasn’t the Sixers’ only win on Saturday, as Joel Embiid returned to the lineup after nearly three weeks away (left knee bone bruise).

Embiid totaled 24 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and three blocks in his return, playing 28 minutes and finishing at a game-high +20.

Embiid was thrilled to be back playing in front of Sixer fans.

“I love having fun with them, I love the support,” Embiid said postgame. “They gave me a great welcome back.”

Tobias Harris, who scored 12 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter alone (including eight straight points to put the Wolves away for good) also welcomed Embiid back enthusiastically.

“It was awesome to have him out there,” Harris said. “He told us he didn’t want to dunk, and then he came out there and dunked it with two hands!”

Reflecting on Harris’ dominant fourth quarter, Doc Rivers was excited by the multiple strong options his team has late in games.

“[Tobias is] one of our clutch guys for sure,” Rivers said. “It’s an interesting team, because we have a lot of guys willing to take the shots. That’s a good sign moving forward.”

The Sixers sit atop of the Eastern Conference, with the No. 2 Brooklyn Nets matching the Sixers’ 34-15 record (with the Sixers holding the tie-breaker).

Following Sunday’s meeting with the Grizzlies, the Sixers will embark on another lengthy road trip, visiting Boston, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, and Dallas.

Sunday’s contest tips at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Opponent Outlook:

The Grizzlies (23-23) currently hold the No. 9 seed in the Western conference, a half-game behind the No. 8 Spurs (24-23).

Memphis is 6-4 in its last 10 games, most recently including a 120-108 victory over the Timberwolves in Memphis Friday.

Ja Morant leads the Grizzlies in scoring, averaging 19.3 points per game, and sharing, averaging 7.4 assists per game, while Jonas Valanciunas leads the team in rebounds (12.5 rpg).

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