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Feb 6, 2024 4:48 pm

‘We gotta figure it out’: Slumping Sixers host Warriors

Tobias Harris

The Philadelphia 76ers just aren’t the same team without reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid.

All they can do is continue to compete and hope that Embiid is healthy enough to join them for a long playoff run.

The team announced that Embiid underwent successful surgery Tuesday on the lateral meniscus in his left knee. Embiid will be re-evaluated in about four weeks.

The Sixers are 4-11 without Embiid this season, including a 118-102 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday.

Philadelphia, which has lost six of its past seven games — including two in a row — will look to return to the win column when it hosts the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.

Embiid is the latest 76er to be sidelined, along with De’Anthony Melton, Nicolas Batum and Robert Covington.

“I think when you lose a guy from the lineup like Joel, outside of the scoring, the defense and just physical presence is just out there on the floor and we’re missing that heavily,” said Tobias Harris, who returned from an illness to score 17 points against the Mavericks.

“But we have to figure out a way to kind of bring that in different elements of the game. Whether that’s us using our speed, us using our quickness on the offensive end and just make decisions, get down the hill, using our craftiness defensively in these games.

“We gotta figure it out.”

76ers All-Star Tyrese Maxey faced double-teams for long stretches and managed only 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the field.

“I’ve got to give up the ball faster sometimes,” Maxey said. “It’s kind of our first time going through this. We’re all kind of learning together. I’m just trying to get the ball out of my hands and try to let my teammates make some plays and still try to stay aggressive.”

The Warriors will arrive in Philadelphia in search of their second win in a row and their fourth victory in the last five games.

Golden State received 29 points from Stephen Curry and 28 points and 10 rebounds from Jonathan Kuminga in a 109-98 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday.

Kuminga has scored at least 20 points nine times in the last 10 games.

Curry made four 3-pointers and was the only player to convert in that category vs. the Nets. The Warriors went only 4-for-22 from 3-point range in what was a choppy win.

“It was ugly on both sides, but I think everybody was trying to execute and trying to settle into the style of the game, and then thankfully in the second half we made the right adjustments and took control and never looked back,” Curry said.

Draymond Green stabilized the Warriors with eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

But Klay Thompson struggled again and missed all three of his 3-point attempts. Coach Steve Kerr had Thompson on the bench for the second time in three games in the waning minutes.

“Yeah. You kidding me? Go from, you know, one of the best players … it’s hard for anybody,” Thompson said of not being on the court at the end of a game. “I’ll be honest with you. It’s very hard.”

Kerr said he still believes in Thompson, 33.

“He’s fine,” Kerr said. “This is a season where he’s had a lot of ups and downs. It’s not easy for a guy who’s been so good and a Hall of Fame player to deal with the injuries and … it’s never easy for any player, getting older. He’s mentally tough.”

–Field Level Media

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