Joel Embiid was back in the 76ers lineup today against the Atlanta Hawks and he turned in a monster performance to help his team move to 3-0 on the season.
Embiid missed the 76ers' previous game against the Detroit Pistons with a right ankle sprain but showed no signs of the injury as the All-Star big man poured in 36 points on 12-for-19 shooting, adding 13 rebounds and five assists.
Philly trailed 98-90 with 4:53 remaining in the fourth, before Embiid checked back into the game and scored eight of his team's final 13 points, including a pair of clutch free throws with 5.3 seconds remaining to help seal a 105-103 win.
Atlanta tied the game up with 7.4 seconds remaining after John Collins got a tip-in off Trae Young's missed free throw, before Embiid held his nerve at the charity stripe.
JC's GOT THIS 😤💪😤💪 pic.twitter.com/7PEw7cBHBh- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 29, 2019
Against the Hawks frontcourt of Collins and Alex Len, Embiid consistently pounded the paint, using his size and skill to get plenty of clean looks at the rim, highlighted by this emphatic jam in the third quarter.
🔨 JOEL EMBIID DROPS THE HAMMER! 🔨 pic.twitter.com/W9xP6s5vaB- NBA (@NBA) October 29, 2019
Josh Richardson added 14 points and, while Ben Simmons chipped in 13 points, six rebounds and six assists. Tobias Harris and Al Horford had their struggles shooting the ball, combining for 18 points on 6-of-20 from the field, but it mattered little with Embiid in such dominant form.
Trae Young led the Hawks with 25 points on 7-of-20 shooting, but he faced plenty of defensive pressure from Simmons, Richardson and rookie swingman Matisse Thybulle.
Thybulle turned in yet another impressive performance on the defensive end, tasked with smothering Young while he was in the game. He finished with eight points, four steals and two blocks, triggering plenty of fast-break opportunities for the 76ers.
Coach Brett Brown threw different looks at Young on the defensive end, trapping him early and forcing the ball out of his hands, but he still managed to find open teammates, recording nine assists on the night.
For the Hawks, Collins recorded 16 points and eight rebounds, while rookie De'Andre Hunter added 14 points and nine rebounds.
The game was chippy throughout, with 54 fouls called between both teams. 76ers forward Mike Scott was ejected in the second quarter for his bump on Damian Jones, which sent the Hawks centre out of bounds. The officials reviewed the play and called a Flagrant-2, ending Scott's night with 1:36 left in the first half.