NBA Update: Joel Embiid injured again, Devin Booker inspires the Suns to sixth straight restart win

Warriors SHUT DOWN Luka Doncic in G...
Warriors SHUT DOWN Luka Doncic in Game 1 of the WCF

Joel Embiid joined the list of recent injury worries for the Philadelphia 76ers’ after sustaining an ankle problem in the loss against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

Embiid’s left ankle looked to have struck the stanchion under the basket before he left the game with 6:18 remaining in the first quarter.

The Cameroonian was then seen testing his ankle while on the bench during a timeout but had to ultimately head into the locker room for further examination. The Sixers announced later in the second quarter that Embiid would not be returning to the game.

Head coach Brett Brown says, “I’m going to learn more physically. I don’t know enough to comment on it.

I think it’s true for everybody where you want an honest medical assessment of anything that equals a potential problem, you just want to avoid.

Landing the plane, entering the playoffs from this vision line of a bubble and time off and tip-toeing on pins and needles where you don’t want people to get injured and still find a rhythm, that’s a slippery slope.”

The three-time All-Star, however, offered some inspiration in the second half to talk with team-mates and speak in team huddles after returning to the bench.

The Philadephia 76ers would be low in spirits after two-time All-Star Ben Simmons suffered a partially dislocated kneecap which will require likely season-ending surgery, and now another of their big star, Embiid getting injured just four days after.

But Josh Richardson managed an impressive 34 points haul in Embiid’s absence, while Alec Burks continued his impressive bubble form with 20 points off the bench.

It’s not positive, honestly,” says Richardson. “We’re kind of nervous, hoping it wasn’t too bad, but honestly, you never want to see your team-mates get hurt. When it’s your best player, it’s definitely a bigger hit so we just try and pick the slack up.”

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Devin Booker inspires the Suns to sixth straight restart win

The Phoenix Suns continued their impressive undefeated run through the NBA bubble as Devin Booker scored 35 points to secure a 128-101 win over the short-handed Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

Booker, despite sitting the fourth quarter, achieved his 90th career 30-point game to tie Suns legend Walter Davis for most 30-point games in franchise history.

Mikal Bridges and rookie Cameron Johnson added 18 points each for the Suns who have now won all six seeding games and remain in the heart of the race for a postseason place.

Devin Booker inspires the Suns to sixth straight restart win

Oklahoma City, who have already clinched a playoff spot, blew a 15-point lead in the first half as Darius Bazley racked home 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Thunders.

The Thunder didn’t feature several regulars on the night with centre, Steven Adams, and guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, both out with leg bruises. Danilo Gallinari, Nerlens Noel and Dennis Schroder, all didn’t play as well due to injuries or for personal reasons.

Suns’ centre Deandre Ayton missed his coronavirus test on Sunday and had to be cleared Monday morning and so couldn’t start the game. He missed the first quarter.

The Thunder grabbed a 15 point lead after just one quarter (37-23) after hitting 5-of-8 three-pointers.

But a flagrant foul gave the Suns’ Cameron Payne three free throws and trimmed the Thunder lead to 60-58 with 3:14 left in the first half.

The Suns then went on to take their first lead of the game, 65-64, with 20 seconds left. Jevon Carter getting a steal and feeding Ayton for a fast-break dunk.

Ayton’s then gave the Suns a 76-66 lead with 9:32 left in the third quarter, and after Booker drilled a magnificent triple from 40 feet away, the Suns grabbed a 13-point lead.

Phoenix took a 98-81 lead into the final quarter and went unchallenged throughout the rest of the game.

Other results…

  • Dallas Mavericks 122-114 Utah Jazz
  • Toronto Raptors 114-106 Milwaukee Bucks
  • Pacers 92-114 Miami Heat
  • Denver Nuggets 121-124 Lakers
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