Joel Embiid

Embiid, Maxey remain out for first leg of Sixers' back-to-back in Portland

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There will be no late-breaking news about Joel Embiid’s availability against the Trail Blazers. 

The Sixers listed Embiid as out Monday afternoon with left knee soreness ahead of their game in Portland.

Embiid was a last-minute scratch Saturday for the team’s tight loss to the Nuggets. That defeat dropped the Sixers to 3-8 this year without Embiid. They’ve gone 26-7 when the NBA’s reigning MVP and leading scorer has played. 

Paul Reed went 42 strong minutes in Denver, scoring a career-high 30 points on 14-for-21 shooting (2 for 4 from three-point range) and grabbing 13 rebounds. 

Embiid played in 25 of the Sixers’ first 28 games this season. After Monday, he’ll have appeared in just eight of their next 17. He sat out a four-game road trip in late December with a right ankle sprain, returned for two games, then missed the following three because of his bothersome left knee.

“It’s been swelling for a while,” Embiid said on Jan. 15. “This is also the perfect time, because the goal is to be ready for May and June. Just wanted to be sure that we knew what was happening first, and also making sure that we look at the long run and get ready for what’s to come.”

The Sixers will also remain without Tyrese Maxey (left ankle sprain), De’Anthony Melton (lumbar spine stress response) and Robert Covington (left knee bone bruise). A Sixers official said last Wednesday that Melton would be re-evaluated in approximately one week, Covington in three to four. Maxey had played 24 consecutive games before sitting in Denver.

Tobias Harris will return to action against the 13-33 Blazers after missing the past two games with an illness.

Monday’s game is the first leg of a back-to-back for the Sixers. They'll play the Warriors next and then finish their road trip Thursday in Utah.

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