Alexey Shved had a little extra spark as he sat at his locker before facing his former team.
The New York Knicks point guard was back at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday for the first time since the 76ers traded him to the Houston Rockets on Dec. 19. But Shved doesn't hold any ill will toward the Sixers for shipping him to Houston.
That move proved to be beneficial. The Rockets in turn traded him Feb. 19 to the Knicks, with whom he is the starting point guard. Shved was third on the depth chart behind Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten with the Sixers.
The 6-foot-6, 180-pounder was averaging 14.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 14 games with the Knicks. He had led the team in scoring four times and in assists six times.
On Friday night, Shved finished with a game-high 25 points while making 7 of 8 three-pointers in a 97-81 setback against the Sixers.
He was asked why he didn't get more playing time with the Sixers, with whom he averaged 9.9 points and 16.8 minutes.
"I don't know why it happened," Shved responded. "I'm just working every day and playing like always. So it's not a question for me. It's a question for the [Sixers] coaches. It doesn't matter, because the time is gone. Now I play here and don't what to think about what happened [with the Sixers]."
Joel Embiid had a light pregame workout after shutting things down at the previous three home games.
"He had some soreness recently," coach Brett Brown said. "But it's part of it all. And that's good for Joel, because if he says it's sore, we know it's part of recovery.
The Sixers rookie center had foot surgery in June and is expected to miss the entire season. The team opted to take things easy after Embiid complained of soreness on March 7, which may have been a result of his between-the-legs dunk during a pregame workout on March 6. A visit to Embiid's doctor in Los Angeles several days later revealed that he is healing as planned.