PHILADELPHIA, PA – Joel Embiid threw the ball over his shoulder into the basket and celebrated the no-look shot with a little shake and shimmy for the crowd. It was vintage Embiid — and something the fun-loving center wants to do more.
Yes, the 76ers are winning. But their star big man wants to be in the middle of it.
Embiid scored 22 points, including two key free throws with 15.3 seconds left, and Tobias Harris added 20 to keep Philadelphia perfect at home with a 97-92 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.
Matisse Thybulle added 13 points for the Sixers, who are 13-0 in Philadelphia. They have won three straight and seven of eight.
Embiid added 10 rebounds but once again struggled offensively down the stretch. After being benched late in Philadelphia’s 110-104 win over Toronto on Sunday for committing three straight turnovers, he missed a 3-pointer, a jumper and committed a turnover in crunch time before making the two big foul shots.
Fortunately for the 76ers, their defense clamped down on Denver down the stretch.
“I need to be myself,” Embiid said. “When I’m having fun, I dominate.”
Embiid said he has cut back on the extra-curricular activity while trying to be more mature since his two-game suspension for fighting Karl-Anthony Towns on Oct. 30, which was followed by a postgame barrage of insults on social media.