PHILADELPHIA — The 76ers star, Joel Embidheard Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse complain about the way he was refereed in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series on Saturday night.
So, after Embiid finished with 31 points, 11 rebounds and went 12-for-14 from the free throw line (taking more free throws than the entire Toronto team) to help the 76ers take a 2-0 lead, the All-Star center had a brief conversation with Nurse on the bench in front of the Toronto bench in the closing seconds of Philadelphia’s 112-97 victory.
What was Embiid’s message?
“He’s a great coach,” Embiid said. “Obviously, he has been able to achieve [mucho] And he’s always been a huge fan.”
“But, I told him, respectfully, I told him to stop complaining,” he added.
Embiid scored 19 of those 31 points, and 12 of those free throws, in the first quarter, when he came out with a clear and obvious intent to impose his will on the game. Embiid tangled with the Raptors forward, OG Anunobyin the opening minutes, prompting both men to commit technical fouls.
And then, after Toronto jumped out to a quick 11-2 lead, the big man’s repeated forays into the paint put several Raptors in early foul trouble and saw Embiid wear down a path to free throws.
“If you’re going to triple somebody the whole game, he’s bound to get to the free throw line, or if you’re going to push him and try to hold him down and all that stuff, he’s bound to get to the free throw line,” Embiid said. “So I feel like every single foul was legitimate and there probably should have been more, honestly,” he said.
For her part, Nurse disagreed. After saying after Game 1 that Embiid hit his players with three or four elbows to the face and should have been called for several other fouls, Nurse concluded that there was a slight improvement on Tuesday, but not enough.
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