Count Joel Embiid as somebody who is glad Thursday’s 76ers-Nets game — which doubled as Ben Simmons’ much-anticipated return to Philly — is over.

“Even before the game, I was already tired of all that drama and all that stuff,” the Sixers’ big man said following Saturday’s practice. “I didn’t think it was warranted. I just wanted to really get it over with. I wasn’t into it at all. I just wanted to play basketball and try to win the basketball game that we were playing.

“Honestly, I wasn’t focused on the outside noise or whatever people were talking about or, really, the fans going back and forth. I’m glad we’re past it. It was one of those games. We didn’t come prepared enough and we didn’t make enough shots and we didn’t play defense.”

The 129-100 drubbing the Sixers received was still a lingering topic before they traveled to Orlando for Sunday’s game against the Magic. Coach Doc Rivers said his team had moved on with a normal film session and on-court work, but added “that game should teach us a lot about [that] you’ve got to be mentally aware and understanding of the situation.

“Brooklyn came in with a complete purpose,” Rivers said. “They were tied together, and we kind of showed up. And they took us. They did everything that you can possibly do tougher. … When you play a team that’s just as talented as you, it takes everything extra: being bought in, having great focus in shootarounds, knowing the game plan and then being the aggressor, being the attacker.

“Just showing up for an NBA game is a guaranteed recipe for disaster, and I thought that’s how we approached the game. We showed up. We knew it was big, but we didn’t understand, in their minds, how they were going to approach it. I just thought they attacked us the whole game.”

The Sixers (40-25) entered Saturday in third place in the Eastern Conference standings, one game back of the second-place Milwaukee Bucks and a half-game ahead of the fourth-place Chicago Bulls and the fifth-place Boston Celtics. Brooklyn (34-33) entered Saturday in the eighth spot, but could be poised for a run now that Kevin Durant has returned from a knee injury, the unvaccinated Kyrie Irving is able to play in most road games, and Simmons, presumably, will begin playing once his back issue subsides. That means the Nets could be a first-round (or eventual) playoff opponent for the Sixers.

While putting in extra work following Saturday’s practice, Embiid and fellow star James Harden smiled while playfully arguing with Sixers assistant coach Sam Cassell. They were examining options in the pick and roll to try to get starting wing Matisse Thybulle more involved, because Seth Curry “just wasn’t guarding him at all” Thursday night, Embiid said.

Offensive spacing is also a major priority, Embiid said. The MVP contender has been counting on Harden to encourage — even demand — teammates to shoot when open because the defense is swarming Embiid or Harden.

“Obviously they’re double- and triple-teaming me,” Embiid said. “And once we start making shots, are you gonna keep doing that? Or are you going to give up a bunch of wide-open threes?

“[Harden has] been doing a great job of just trying to push everybody to do the same because we need all the space we can get. And if we make a bunch of shots, it will open up.”

Danny Green out vs. Magic with finger injury

Veteran wing Danny Green will miss his second consecutive game Sunday with a finger laceration when the Sixers face the Magic, per the NBA’s injury report released Saturday.

Green sustained the injury during Monday’s victory over Chicago and then sat out Thursday’s loss to the Nets. Rivers said Green did participate in Saturday’s practice and “was really good.”

Green has battled health issues throughout the season, including hip and hamstring injuries and a stint in COVID-19 health and safety protocols. He is averaging 6.1 points per game, his lowest scoring average since becoming an NBA rotation player a decade ago, on 39.8% shooting and 37.6% from three-point range.

Without Green, Rivers played an eight-man rotation against the Nets until emptying his bench in the final quarter. Guard Shake Milton, forward Georges Niang, and center DeAndre Jordan came off the bench.