After superb stretch of 21 straight games, Embiid gets night off


CAMDEN, N.J. — For the first time since his team's last meeting with the Grizzlies, Joel Embiid won't play for the Sixers.

Embiid will sit out the Sixers' Monday night game against Memphis at Wells Fargo Center. It's a planned rest day, a team official said.

Embiid was a late scratch for the Sixers' blowout loss to the Grizzlies on Dec. 13 with right rib soreness. He then appeared in 21 consecutive games and was superb during that stretch, averaging 33.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 blocks.

Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said last week the team had discussed an upcoming rest day for Embiid. To that point, according to Rivers, Embiid had been resistant.

Embiid admitted he didn't feel his best after the Sixers beat the Lakers on Thursday.

“I just wasn’t feeling it tonight," he said. “A little tired, but I need to keep taking care of my body, keep playing and keep pushing. But I’m fine. It’s going to happen. I had a bad game today, but I’m sure it was bound to happen, especially with the stretch that I’ve been on. … Sometimes it’s going to happen. Bad nights are going to happen. I was terrible tonight, so I can’t wait for the next game to try to do better.”

He posted 36 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in the Sixers' comeback victory Saturday over the Kings, though he grimaced and grabbed at the back of his neck following a third-quarter collision with Tyrese Haliburton.

“I’m doing good," Embiid said. "After the and-one, I went into Tyrese and kind of snapped (my neck) a little bit, but I’m fine. Everything’s going to be fine.”

The Sixers will enter the matchup against first-time All-Star point guard Ja Morant and the 35-17 Grizzlies with 14 wins in their last 17 games. Seth Curry, Danny Green and Matisse Thybulle have recently returned from injuries. Furkan Korkmaz was listed as questionable with left knee soreness, while Shake Milton has been out since Jan. 3 because of a back contusion. Curry was added to the 1:30 p.m. injury report as probable with back stiffness. 

Memphis wing Dillon Brooks (left ankle sprain) is out and backup point guard Tyus Jones (health and safety protocols) was listed as questionable.

Whatever happens Monday night, Embiid will take it in from the sideline. After playing the Grizzlies, the Sixers have four games left before the Feb. 10 trade deadline and eight games before the All-Star break.

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