The Rundown: Embiid drops 41 vs. Celtics

Published December 21, 2021, 4:30 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

Joel Embiid delivered late in the game and finished with a double-double of 41 points and 10 boards to lead the Sixers past the Celtics.


Sixers 108, Celtics 103

Raptors-Magic PPD

Bulls 133, Rockets 118

Thunder 102, Grizzlies 99

Jazz 112, Hornets 102

Warriors 113, Kings 98

Spurs 116, Clippers 92

What went down

“Shorthanded” is a term thrown around the league and can pretty much describe any team right now due to injuries and health and safety protocols. Division rivals Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics have both been shorthanded since opening night, but both teams have always found a way to get wins.

For today’s game, the 76ers missed Andre Drummond, Georges Niang, Shake Milton, Tyrese Maxey, Furkan Korkmaz, and Jaden Springer. The Celtics, on the other hand, didn’t have Al Horford, Grant Williams, Robert Williams III, Jabari Parker, Juancho Hernangomez, Josh Richardson, Brodic Thomas, and Sam Hauser. That’s a lot of names.

But that didn’t stop those on the floor from fighting for every inch. 

The Sixers held a slim two-point lead at halftime but found themselves down seven points late in the fourth quarter.

After a quick 8-1 run by the Sixers in the last two-minute mark, Joel Embiid sealed the deal. Embiid, who played with a sore right ankle, hit jumper after jumper after jumper, and the Celtics simply had no answer in the clutch.

Embiid scored nine straight points in the final 1:22. He led the Sixers with 41 points and 10 rebounds to get the W, ending the Sixers’ three-game losing streak. Seth Curry was hot again with 26 points while Tobias Harris contributed 25.

Jaylen Brown had one of those explosive 30-point games, but Jayson Tatum was held to only 17 points. The Celtics will be playing the hot Cleveland Cavaliers and the defending champs Milwaukee Bucks next.

Big-time ballers

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been on a tear ever since getting his heart broken to a million pieces by Devonte’ Graham. He followed up his game-winning, buzzer-beating 3 against the Los Angeles Clippers with another clutch performance versus the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies were very harsh on the Oklahoma City Thunder the last time these two teams played, but instead of cowering in fear, SGA braved the Memphis defense and went clutch. He scored 23 points, adding five rebounds, four assists, and three steals to avenge the 73-point loss.

Draymond Green and Dejounte Murray served a triple-double special to their respective opponents. Green is back to the Draymond Green we know, dropping a 16-11-10 triple-double against the Sacramento Kings. Murray flexed absolute dominance versus the Clippers with a 24-12-13 line. It was Murray’s sixth trip-dub of the season, a Spurs record.

What he said

Steve Kerr was named the new head coach of Team USA, which begs the question: Will he put Steph Curry back on the roster?

"If Steph is healthy and wants to play, I'm pretty sure I can convince Grant [Hill] and Sean [Ford] to put him on the roster. It would be wonderful, but you never know how this thing is going to play out."

Did you see that?

No. 12 came back for the Memphis Grizzlies after missing 12 games due to a left knee sprain. 

The Grizzlies lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but they did get a small win by having Ja Morant do these kinds of things again on the floor: