Sixers set to face Wizards with Joel Embiid ailing

The Philadelphia 76ers will look for their third straight victory when they host the reeling Washington Wizards on Monday.While the Sixers have been winning recently, there's cause for concern rega

Sixers set to face Wizards with Joel Embiid ailing

The Philadelphia 76ers will look for their third straight victory when they host the reeling Washington Wizards on Monday.

While the Sixers have been winning recently, there’s cause for concern regarding reigning Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid.

Late in the Sixers’ 125-114 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, Embiid appeared to tweak his left knee after taking an awkward step on a drive to the basket. Embiid had 38 points and 14 rebounds but was noticeably limping at the end.

“You kind of gotta give it an overnight to see what happens to it and all that kind of stuff,” Sixers head coach Nick Nurse said after Friday’s win.

Said Embiid: “I’m not sure. I have to watch the tape. I just twisted it. We’ll talk about it and see how it feels. I should be fine.”

Embiid participated in practice Sunday and is listed as questionable for Monday.

Tyrese Maxey continued his strong play for the Sixers with 30 points, seven assists and zero turnovers.

According to, Maxey is the only NBA player to have compiled at least 140 points and 25 assists, while committing five or fewer turnovers since Nov. 25. Maxey has participated in five games over that stretch.

“He was great. We keep telling him, we keep reminding him, he has to be aggressive, especially at the start of the game, but he was great,” Embiid said of Maxey. “He controlled the whole game, got to the free throw line, made some big shots, made some big plays.”

Kelly Oubre Jr. continued to spark the Sixers with 11 points off the bench.

Philadelphia is 9-1 in the 10 games that Oubre. Jr. has played in this season.

“Offensively, I’m still finding my rhythm, my pace, but I can hoop, so we’ll find it,” said Oubre Jr. who missed an extended period of time with a broken rib and other undisclosed injuries from an off-court incident. “I’m confident in that.”

The struggling Wizards have dropped four straight of 13 of the last 14.

In their most recent game Friday, the Wizards fell 124-97 to the Brooklyn Nets.

Kyle Kuzma led the way with 17 points, while Deni Avdija added 15 and Tyus Jones had 14. Rookie Bilal Coulibaly recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

“Our effort defensively wasn’t there,” Jones said. “I think we let the offensive side of the ball affect our effort, attention to detail, things like that. You can’t do that. We’ve done that a number of times this year, and you’ve got to grow in that area and learn from it.”

The Wizards will arrive in Philadelphia with a 3-18 record.

“I think we just let our offense dictate how we wanted to play defensively,” Kuzma said. “Some guys probably felt like they didn’t get the ball, probably shot shots that they shouldn’t have.”

Jordan Poole struggled with one of his worst performances of the season with eight points on Friday in 24 minutes.

Poole sat out the fourth quarter and was replaced by Coulibaly. Poole looked visibly frustrated on the bench.

“They were topping him, keeping him from coming up the floor. I thought they were very handsy and aggressive with him,” Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said of the Nets’ defensive scheme against Poole. “So it makes it difficult at times to create separation.”

The Wizards shot just 6 of 33 (18.2 percent) from 3-point range.