76ers’ Joel Embiid (right knee sprain) questionable for Game 5 vs. Celtics

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76ers Joel Embiid (right knee sprain) questionable for Game 5 vs Celtics

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (right knee sprain) has been downgraded to questionable for Tuesday night’s Game 5 second-round matchup against the Boston Celtics of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

Embiid missed two games earlier this postseason because of a lingering knee sprain. In his last three appearances, the 2022-23 NBA MVP winner has averaged 26.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 37.3 minutes per game.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the 76ers have fourth-shortest odds to win the championship. Check out which sportsbooks are giving the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and Phoenix Suns better odds.

In the 76ers’ 116-115 overtime win over Boston in Game 4 this past Sunday, Joel Embiid ended his outing with 34 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and one steal in 47 minutes of action. Plus, the six-time All-Star shot 11-of-26 (42.3%) from the floor and 12-of-15 (80%) at the foul line.

“Tonight, playing a lot of minutes kind of got to me at the end,” Embiid said. “We made the plays when we needed. P.J. [Tucker] with the big and-1. Obviously, the James [Harden] shot. I thought we stuck with it. But that’s been us all season long. We stick together and fight through everything.”

Last Tuesday, Embiid became the first MVP winner to average 30 points and 10 rebounds per game on 50% shooting from the field since Moses Malone in 1981-82.

76ers center Joel Embiid (right knee sprain) has been downgraded to questionable for Tuesday night’s Game 5 matchup against the Celtics at TD Garden

James Harden led the Sixers in scoring with 42 points in 47 minutes. Embiid and Harden are the first Sixers teammates with 30 points each in a playoff game since Embiid and Seth Curry set the previous record in June 2021 against the Atlanta Hawks.

Entering Game 5 on Tuesday night, the 76ers are 2-7 ATS in their last nine matchups versus Boston. However, the Sixers are also 5-1 in their past six road games. More importantly, Philadelphia is 5-15 in its previous 20 contests against the Celtics at TD Garden.

Meanwhile, the C’s are 10-2 in their past 12 home games. The point total has gone over in seven of Boston’s last eight contests as well. And the Celtics are 4-2 ATS in their previous six games played on a Tuesday. In Game 4, Jayson Tatum missed his first eight shots before he scored a bucket right before halftime.

Boston has not dropped back-to-back games since losing 131-129 in double-overtime against the New York Knicks on Mar. 5. Per ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Celtics hold a 62.1% probability of winning Game 5 at home. Sportsbooks show the 76ers as a 7.5-point underdog at TD Garden.

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