Sixers’ Embiid returns to start Game 4 vs. Nets

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid started Game 4 against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday after being listed as doubtful with soreness in his left knee.

Embiid, who missed 14 of the Sixers’ 24 games after the All-Star break, sat out a 131-115 win in Game 3 as the Sixers took a 2-1 series lead.

The Sixers announced Embiid was playing Saturday approximately 15 minutes before tipoff. His last-minute playing status announcements have caused Nets coach Kenny Atkinson consternation.

“We find out their starting lineup with about five minutes to go,” Atkinson said before Game 4. “I don’t know, but somehow we got to figure that one out as media, league.”

In retaliation, Atkinson did not divulge his Game 4 starters — Jared Dudley and Caris LeVert replaced DeMarre Carroll and Rodions Kurucs in the first unit — as early as he usually does.

“Normally I’d give it [with] 60 [minutes remaining] on the clock [before tipoff], but I’m not going to do that again,” Atkinson said.

Embiid was limited to 45 combined minutes between the first two games of the series, which Philadelphia split 1-1 on its home floor, and the All-Star big man was a late scratch for Game 3 after finishing a warm-up about 30 minutes prior to tipoff.

On Friday, after launching some casual 3-pointers while wearing slippers, Embiid laced up his sneakers and worked with a team trainer and assistant coach Monty Williams on a side court during the portion of practice that was available to the media.

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