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“I didn’t really intend to make it.”

Joel Embiid returned to the Philadelphia 76ers lineup on Saturday night, but the Superstar Center thanked him for being alive after dealing with COVID-19.

Embiid scored the game’s best 42 points and added 14 rebounds when Philadelphia lost 121-120 in two extra times at the Minnesota Timberwolves home.

The four vaccinated All-Stars were open about the virus match during the post-match presser.

“That chin hit me hard,” said Embiid, who missed nine games during the protocol. “That is, I really thought I wasn’t going to get it done. It was terrible, so I’m really grateful to sit here.

“I struggled with it, but I’m glad I got over it, and I’m just doing what I like with some good people here.”

Karl-Anthony Towns at the Timberwolves Center has collided with Embiid on the court in the past, but Saturday night set aside the difference. Towns was hospitalized for COVID-19 earlier this year and killed eight relatives, including his mother, from the virus.

“We had ours for a while, which is bigger than basketball,” Towns told NBA reporter Dane Moore. “It’s bigger than what we have. I saw it kill people, and I’m glad he’s on the other side.”

76ers, who went 2-7 to the lineup without Embiid, finished 11th at the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-10.



“I didn’t really intend to make it.”

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