PHILADELPHIA (AP) Joel Embiid rebounded from the worst game of his career with 33 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 97-91 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
Embiid was scoreless Monday night in a 101-96 loss at Toronto. In 32 minutes against the Raptors, the star big man went 0 for 11 from the field, including 0-for-4 from the arc and missed all three of his free throws.
Against the Kings, he scored the first points of the game with an emphatic dunk 23 seconds in and had some key points late in the game to help Philadelphia improve to 8-0 at home. He finished 10 of 19 from the field and 12 of 14 from the free-throw line.
Philadelphia rookie Matisse Thybulle scored all 15 of his career-best points in the second half. Thybulle was needed after Josh Richardson didn’t return in the second half due to right hamstring tightness. Thybulle added four steals and two blocks while making all five of his shots, including three 3-pointers.
Buddy Hield scored 22 points and Dewayne Dedmon had 18 for the Kings. They were 1-3 on a four-game trip.
Hield, coming off a career-high 41 points at Boston on Monday night, made 3 of 12 3-pointers and 9 of 24 shots overall.
Sacramento closed within five, 92-87, thanks to a 14-2 run. But Embiid scored from close to put the 76ers up 94-87 and then hit a pair from the line to make it 96-87 with 1:41 left.
Ben Simmons’ continued reluctance to shoot conventional jump shots remains an issue in Philadelphia. Simmons hit his first career 3-pointer against the Knicks on Nov. 20, but he hasn’t tried a true 3 – his shot-clock heave in Monday’s 101-96 loss at Toronto notwithstanding.
Coach Brett Brown repeatedly has defended his star point guard, saying that his jump shot will come in time. He again was asked several times prior to Wednesday’s game about Simmons’ shot.
”In general, I want him to shoot more,” Brown said. ”There are available shots he can look at more.”
Brown said it’s something Simmons continues to work on in practice.
Simmons drained a 13-foot turnaround jumper with 6:40 left in the first half, but then didn’t touch rim with a try from similar distance a little under a minute later.
Kings: De’Aaron Fox (ankle) missed his eighth straight contest, and Trevor Ariza (personal) was out for his fifth straight game. . The teams wrap up the two-game season series on March 5 at Sacramento. … Philadelphia fans booed Nemanja Bjelica, who spurned the 76ers for Europe prior to last offseason.
76ers: Kyle O’Quinn (left calf) and Shake Milton (upper respiratory infection) didn’t play. … Richardson had nine points in 17 first-half minutes.
Kings: Host Denver on Saturday night.
76ers: At New York on Friday night.