Joel Embiid returns for Philadelphia 76ers; Jim Gardner rings the bell

Embiid had 42 points and 14 rebounds in his return to the lineup after missing nine games because of COVID-19 protocols.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid returned Saturday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves after missing nine games because of COVID-19 protocols.

Embiid, a four-time All-Star, hadn't played since Nov. 6, with the 76ers going 2-7 without him. Embiid is averaging 21.4 points and 9.6 rebounds in 10 games this season. He also sat out on Nov. 1 against Portland to rest.

Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said before the game that Embiid would be a game-time decision.

The star center went through his normal pregame routine, then received a raucous standing ovation from the fans during introductions.

Tobias Harris also returned to the starting lineup after missing the last two games with a hip injury.

SIXERS FALL IN DOUBLE OVERTIME



D'Angelo Russell scored 35 points and had a decisive steal and assist in the final seconds of the second overtime in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 121-120 victory over Embiid and the Sixers.

Embiid had 42 points and 14 rebounds in his return to the lineup after missing nine games because of COVID-19 protocols. Philadelphia lost seven of those games without the four-time All-Star and has now dropped eight of 10.

Russell also made a go-ahead 3 late in the first overtime. Karl-Anthony Towns added 28 points and 10 rebounds but didn't play in the extra sessions after fouling out, and Anthony Edwards had 19 points. Minnesota has won six of seven.

Embiid scored all seven of Philadelphia's points in the second overtime, and his 12-foot baseline jumper put them up 120-117 with 1:58 to play. Naz Reid's layup pulled Minnesota within a point with 30.8 seconds left.

Then, Russell stole Tyrese Maxey's pass that was intended for Embiid before assisting on Taurean Prince's driving layup that put the Timberwolves up a point.

Philadelphia had one last chance to win it, but Edwards blocked Embiid's 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Reid finished with 15 points.

JIM GARDNER RINGS THE BELL



Our very own Action News anchor Jim Gardner got things started for the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.

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Our very own Action News anchor Jim Gardner got things started for the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.



The crowd roared its approval as Jim rang the bell.

Earlier this month, Jim announced he was dialing back his schedule, stepping down from his role as anchor of Action News at 11 p.m. in January.

He'll continue as anchor of Action News at 6 p.m. until his retirement at the end of 2022.
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