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Moore: Joel Embiid’s early return gives the Sixers reason for optimism

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30.01.2020

The all-star center coming back only 2 1/2 weeks after undergoing hand surgery could help vault Brett Brown’s team to a top-three seed in the East.

PHILADELPHIA — The 76ers went 6-3 with Joel Embiid sidelined by a torn ligament in his left ring finger, including wins over the Celtics and Thunder.

But not having Embiid, the Sixers’ all-star center, impacting the game at both ends of the floor, coupled with the team’s difficult upcoming schedule, meant that success was unlikely to continue.

By returning to the lineup just three weeks and a day after suffering the injury against Oklahoma City — and only 2 1/2 weeks following surgery — Embiid accomplished a number of things.

No. 1, he provided the Sixers with a tangible lift in downing the scuffling Warriors 115-104 on Tuesday night, contributing 24 points on 9-for-13 shooting, to go along with 10 rebounds in 26 minutes. He wore a splint to protect the finger as much as possible.

“Just his presence, his size, his ability to find ways to score (helped us),” said Sixers coach Brett Brown. “For his first game back, it was pretty impressive.”

#Sixers center Joel Embiid on wearing No. 24 tonight: pic.twitter.com/77gTNf96fb

No. 2, he........

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