Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid had a good first half in Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks but then disappeared in the second half. Embiid, who finished the game with 17 points and 21 rebounds, went 0-of-12 from the field in the second half.
With 8.8 seconds to go, Embiid missed a layup and the Hawks ended up winning 103-100 to level the series at 2-2. Embiid admitted he had great looks but he just couldn't convert. "Great look. Great look. I just didn't have the lift," said Embiid, who has played this Eastern Conference semifinal series on a partially torn meniscus in his right knee.
"Thought I got fouled, too. But usually I would go up, especially for a bucket like that, try to dunk it. Try to get fouled and get an and-one. But ... not being able to jump for obvious reasons. ... It's tough."
Embiid was bothered by his knee
"I guess it's already known," Embiid said, confirming it was the knee that was bothering him.
"Don't need to explain ... I'm just trying to do the best I can. "I thought in the beginning of the game, when I went back to the locker room, I just felt like I didn't have it tonight." 76erd forward Tobias Harris didn't want to throw Embiid under the bus.
"He didn't have his best night offensively, but he had some big defensive plays for us all throughout the game," said Harris, who led Philadelphia with 20 points. "So, I'm not out there critiquing his movements and how he's looking off one leg or the other.
I'm out there just trying to play basketball. "I mean, he's the most dominant player in the game, making shots or not making shots. We know what he brings to this team and I know he'll bounce back next game."
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers wasn't happy with the way his team played in the second half. "We went back to hero basketball. Everybody wanted to be the hero instead of just trusting the team, trusting each other," he said.
"When you do that you usually lose, especially when the other team outworks you the whole f---ing game." Embiid is now looking forward to Game 5 and the rest of the series. "That was a blown opportunity. But it happened," Embiid said. "Can't change it. Got to move on to Game 5."