Sixers center Joel Embiid will have surgery on hand injury

Rapid Recap Kemba returns but not for long as Celtics lose to Spurs amid controversy

Embiid, who scored an average of 23.4 points and 12.3 rebounds in 31 games this season, tore the radial sideband in his ring finger on Monday night when he beat Oklahoma City.

Ben Simmons tallied 19 points and Horford chipped in with 17 for the Sixers, who have won all three games this season over Boston and improved to 18-2 at home this National Basketball Association season.

"I put a blowtorch, a bullet, a lot of bullets into what we used to do", said coach Brett Brown.

"This is not a" wee is me "moment, not for me at all", Brown said.

The positive injury news for the Sixers is that rookie Matisse Thybulle will be available after missing the last seven games with a right knee injury. "I have to take it upon myself to do it a little more often, like every day".

The Sixers signed Embiid, a native of Cameroon, to a $148 million, five-year extension that kicked in at the start of the 2018-19 season.

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Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum would nearly single-handedly carry Boston for the remainder of the first frame, and Jaylen Brown the second, but the Celtics didn't turn up the defensive intensity nor attack until the penultimate frame. Gafford also received a technical foul from the exchange, and Drummond was tossed after a review with 10:42 remaining in the third quarter. He's been averaging 18.5 points, 9,1 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

Despite the loss, Celtics coach Brad Stevens was trying to find some positives to take from the game. It was his first ejection in a sparkling nine-year career. "I thought the ref missed the call". I mean, it's the first time I've been ejected in my whole life. "So maybe I should get a little leeway".

If Embiid fails indefinitely, even the deep reserves must help keep them afloat until he returns. In their last two games, both losses, the Celtics have started slow and couldn't recover.

The tall Cameroonian said after the game that he was "basically playing with one hand", but he was determined to make a contribution when the 76s broke a four-game losing streak. "The other teams deserve credit for beating us".

The Celtics will return to Boston and play the New Orleans Pelicans at the TD Garden on Saturday night.

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