Embiid, 76ers win without Harden, former earn No. 4 seed

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid and James Harden leave for Toronto for the playoffs. Defensive specialist Mattis Thiboul is staying behind for the road game; She has not been fully vaccinated and has been barred from entering Canada.

Embiid sat out after winning the scoring title and Harden joined him on the bench, allowing Shaq Milton and Tyrese Maxi to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 118-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.

The Sixers finished as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and would open against Toronto.

“We pretty much knew this going into the game,” said coach Doc Rivers. “Then we’ll be ready.”

They will try and beat the Raptors without Thibaul.

Non-vaccinated foreign nationals are currently prohibited from entering Canada. The rule’s limited exemptions no longer apply to professional athletes. Rivers said Thayboul would be “ineligible” for games 3 and 4.

Thiboul said he was raised in a “holistic household” and refused to be vaccinated outright. He said he felt the need to get a shot last season, but did not proceed, saying that “I felt like I had a solid base of medical resources beyond what this vaccine could do for me.” can serve me.”

“It was not the result I wanted,” he said. “It’s always hard not to be available.”

Thiboul said he acknowledged that his decision could harm the Sixers, their reputation and future earnings, but that they saw no benefit from trying “alternative medicine.”

“I made this choice and thought I could keep it to myself, I could keep it quiet,” Thiboul said.

Milton scored 30 points, and Maxi and Paul Reid scored 25 points. Luca Garza led the Pistons with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Embiid sat on the end of the bench and Harden pulled the hood of his sweatshirt over his head and the two of them knocked out the 59-loss Pistons to rally the Sixers to a 15-point lead.

Allan Iverson was at home and the last Sixer to win the scoring title – four, in fact – got to share the arena with this season’s winner. Embiid finished on 30.6 points per game. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo also took rest on Sunday, finishing on 29.9 points. Embiid posted those numbers at just 33.8 minutes per game, the lowest minute average in the season by the scoring champions in the shot-clock era. He also became the first international since Shaquille O’Neill in 1999–00 to win the scoring title and first centre.

Sixers fans chanted “MVP! MVP! Embiid” when they were celebrated on the big screen for their scoring title.

Harden also earned one game off and averaged 21 points and 7.1 rebounds in 21 games with the Sixers. He has been plagued by hamstring issues since playing with Brooklyn—the Nets sent him to Philly for Ben Simmons in a trade-deadline deal—but Rivers said Harden was fine.

“He’s in a good place, I can say that,” Rivers said. “Conditioning-wise, he’s in a good place. We have a week to do it a little better. The hamstrings, whatever they tell me, are in a very good place. That’s the biggest concern, but I don’t have much. According to our staff, they feel great about that.”

Rivers will give the Sixers a day off on Monday and use Tuesday to film before running for playoff practice.

Tip-ins:

76ers: DeAndre Jordan had 11 rebounds.

Pistons: Former Villanova star Sadiq Bey started all 82 games. … Cade Cunningham sat outside.

she said it

“We’re not going on Paul Reed’s winning tour. We’re trying to win a championship, man.” — Rivers, shooting down questions that Reed could have a bigger role in the playoffs.

looking ahead

Pistons coach Dwayne Casey said the next season had cause for excitement. Casey said the best part of this season was the “development” and how he played close to the .500 ball after the All-Star break.

“Just watching them grow,” he said. “A lot of games were not worth winning, but there has been growth. It will be clear in the future.”

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