PHILADELPHIA – Joel Embiid, considered dubious, started for the 76ers in the first play of the playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, scoring 22 points in 24 minutes when Philadelphia lost his first game, 111-102.
The All-Star center, who suffered from tendinitis in the left knee that cost him most of the last month of the regular season, shot 5 field 15 and 0 for 5 from 3 points. He had 15 rebounds and five blocks.
Embiid, who averages 27.5 points and 11.1 rebounds, has been injured since the All-Star break. An MRI in February revealed no structural damage.
Embiid has missed 14 of the last 24 games of the regular season and has only played 64 games this season. His injury history gives no assurance that his body can endure more than two exhausting months and the 28 matches possible to win a title.
Associated Press contributed to this report.