The Sixers listed Joel Embiid as questionable ahead of their Friday night meeting with the 14-4 Celtics in Boston.
Embiid missed the team’s loss Wednesday to the Pelicans because of an illness. The Sixers are 12-4 when he plays this season and 0-2 without him.
Jaden Springer, who’s been out the last three games with an illness, was upgraded to probable. Nicolas Batum was also listed as probable after exiting early in New Orleans with a right index finger injury.
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Danuel House Jr. (left quad contusion) will miss a fourth consecutive game and Kelly Oubre Jr. (fractured rib) will sit out an 11th straight contest.
Oubre appears to be nearing a return, though. He fully participated in the Sixers’ practice Thursday, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey. Before the team departed for New Orleans, head coach Nick Nurse had left the door open for Oubre potentially playing against Boston and said the Sixers were “trying to do it as fast as we can and get him going.” He also noted Oubre’s conditioning and ability to handle contact were key factors to monitor.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Thursday that Oubre is “targeting a return to action next week.” After facing Boston, the Sixers will play the Wizards next Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
The Celtics, who split two November games vs. the Sixers in Philadelphia, entered Thursday night with the NBA’s best record and best net rating. They’ll be without big man Kristaps Porzingis (left calf strain) for a third game in a row.