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    76ers’ Joel Embiid “won’t be 100%” until off-season as Hawks tie series

    June 15 (UPI) — All-Star center Joel Embiid says he won’t be 100% healthy until the off-season after he struggled to produce over long stretches during the Philadelphia 76ers’ Game 4 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

    Embiid went 0 for 12 from the floor in the second half of the 103-100 setback Monday at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The Hawks tied the Eastern Conference Semifinals series at 2-2 with the victory.

    The 76ers led by as many as 18 points in the loss. Embiid missed his go-ahead layup attempt with less than 10 seconds left in the game. He said his injured right knee hindered his ability to get to the rim on the play.

    “It was a tough loss,” Embiid told reporters. “Having a big league, that was a blown opportunity. But it happened and you can’t change it. We have to move on to Game 5.”

    Embiid totaled 17 points with 21 rebounds and four assists, but was 4 of 20 from the field. The All-Star center sustained a partially torn meniscus in the 76ers’ first-round series against the Washington Wizards. He missed just one game due to the injury.

    Embiid said he “didn’t have the lift” he needed on his final shot Monday in Atlanta.

    “Usually, I would go up, especially for a bucket like that and try to dunk it,” Embiid said. “Try to get fouled and get an And-1. But, not being able to jump for obvious reasons. … It’s tough.”

    Embiid averaged 35.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game through the first three games of the series, but said he doesn’t think he will be fully healthy for the rest of the playoffs.

    “As far as me being 100%, I don’t think that will actually happen until the year is over,” Embiid said. “I just have to go out and manage and deal with it.”

    Sixers coach Doc Rivers told reporters he “wasn’t sure” what was bothering Embiid when he went to the locker room to address an injury in the first half. Rivers also said he didn’t know if Embiid’s injury issues impacted his ability to make his final shot.

    “To me the game should have never come to that point,” Rivers said. “We missed so many opportunities.”

    Rivers gave the Hawks credit for being the “more physical and tougher” team in the victory.

    “And it wasn’t close,” Rivers said.

    Hawks guard Trae Young scored a game-high 25 points, but made just 8 of 26 shots in the win. The Hawks won despite making just 36.6% of their shots from the field.

    The 76ers will host the Hawks in Game 5 at 7:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The winner of the series will take on the Milwaukee Bucks or Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference Finals. That series also is tied at 2-2.

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