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Embiid validates hype in narrow loss to Westbrook’s Thunder

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
AP Photo/Chris Szagola

Joel Embiid was worth the wait.

Two years in the making, Embiid made his regular season debut on Wednesday night for the Philadelphia 76ers, and it was a good one. Despite his minutes limit, “The Process” scored 20 points in 22 minutes (the first to do so in his debut in at least 30 years, if not longer) in a 103-97 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder that went down to the final minute, when a bad charge call on Embiid ended Philly’s chances. He also had seven rebounds and two blocks.

The 76ers got a nice performance out of newcomer Sergio Rodriguez (12 points, nine assists, 5-11 from the floor) but Russell Westbrook – as he will have to all year – powered the Thunder with a near-triple double. In news that will surprise no one at this point, Westbrook dropped 32 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

Though Embiid was only 6-16 from the field, had four turnovers and showed he still has many things to learn…

he also flashed the tools that made many think he could be the best player from the 2014 draft:

Another thing makes Embiid great? His personality is as fun as his game:

The Sixers missed a chance to have a winning record for the first time since mid-November 2013, but they’ll have an opportunity to even up their record on Saturday in an early tilt at home against the Atlanta Hawks.

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