Joel Embiid was enjoying his career-high 49-point performance as the clock wound down in the Sixers’ victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.
With the score 129-112, Embiid grabbed a rebound of a Trae Young three-pointer with 22.2 seconds left. Shortly after, Atlanta’s Kevin Huerter ran from behind and stole the ball from Embiid with 17.9 seconds left.
Embiid appeared to direct an obscene gesture toward Huerter.
“There is always this thing about, you know, you shouldn’t shoot the ball if you are up 20, something like that,” Embiid said afterward. “And I feel like it should go both ways still. I mean, I am running the clock down and I feel like the game is over. That is why I am doing it. But to me if the other team is going to keep playing defense and going to keep shooting the ball at the other end, I feel like we should be like, be better next time and just go out and score, and I thought about it when I had the ball again, but I [felt] I am going to stay cool, but I felt it should go both ways ...”
Embiid hit a three-pointer with 32.2 seconds left to extend the lead to 129-112 and earn his career high. His previous career high was 46 points.
Could Huerter have been angry that Embiid was still shooting?
Huerter told The Athletic, “There was a full shot clock left, and I was going to play.”
Atlanta’s Cam Reddish took one final three, missing a 29-footer with 13.2 seconds remaining.