East Notes: Sixers, Joel Embiid, Bulls, Zach LaVine, Hornets


Star center Joel Embiid returned after missing multiple games with a sprained ankle, and in his usual big way. Embiid scored 31 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and passed for 10 assists in the 76ers’ home win over the Bulls on Tuesday.Joel Embiid

“He was moving great. I think his conditioning was less than that,” coach Nick Nurse told reporters. “But that’s OK. I think that game was good for him to kind of recondition himself.”

Embiid extended his franchise lead of 15 straight games with at least 30 points in the, well, process.

“I want to play as many games as possible,” Embiid said. “It’s unfortunate I missed the past four games but I can’t control it. If I’m healthy, my goal was to try and play 82 games. Every single game. Sometimes, it’s not just possible. Sometimes, stuff happens.”

  • The Sixers have also been laying a beating on teams this season. They’ve defeated the Wizards by 45 points, LeBron James and the Lakers by 44, and the defending champion Nuggets by 32.


Guard/forward DeMar DeRozan said the loss to the Sixers was an embarrassment for a team that was 10-5 without injured guard Zach LaVine entering Tuesday night.

‘‘It sucks,’’ DeRozan said, via Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. ‘‘You definitely don’t want to lose like that. Give credit to them. They responded how they were supposed to respond, especially knowing that we came in here and beat them [two weeks ago] and then just beat them [Saturday] at home. You gotta give them credit. We came out and couldn’t make nothing.’’

  • Coach Billy Donovan added the Bulls need to just move on. ‘‘I’m not a big flush-game guy,” he said, via Cowley. “I think there is always something to be learned in any situations, but we have to move forward from this.’’
  • Along with LaVine, the Bulls were without center Nikola Vucevic (groin) and forward/center Torrey Craig (plantar fasciitis). Forward Patrick Williams also exited with a reoccurring ankle injury.
  • LaVine could return from a month-long foot injury as soon as Friday, Donovan indicated to reporters. “Obviously, I talk to him in the building pretty regularly, and I think whatever he can do to help the team has kind of been his mentality; it’s always been,’’ Donovan said. “I think he sees how we’re playing, what we’re doing, and the thing he would want to do is to come in and contribute and make it better.”
  • The Bulls remain active in their efforts to trade LaVine but are finding little interest, sources told Hoops Wire. Along with the Lakers, the Warriors, Hornets and Jazz continue to be among those who have at least some interest in a LaVine trade, sources said. 


The shorthanded Hornets snapped an 11-game skid with a stunning upset road win over the Kings on Tuesday.

Guard Terry Rozier returned from a one-game absence to lead Charlotte with 34 points. 

“It feels good,” Rozier told reporters. “We’ve been trending in the right way, doing a lot of great things. Obviously, our record hasn’t been saying that, but we notice all the great things we’ve been doing and we know we’re going to put it together sooner or later. We’re just happy to walk out of here with a win.”

  • The Hornets outscored the Kings 26-16 in the fourth quarter and closed the game on a 10-0 run. They forced the Kings into a season-high 21 turnovers in the win.

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