Nick Nurse explains playing Joel Embiid entire 2nd half in Game 4 loss to Knicks

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers knew how important Game 4 was for them. They could not afford to go back to Madison Square Garden trailing the New York Knicks 3-1. Therefore, coach Nick Nurse went all in.

Joel Embiid, who is the most dominant player in this series, is the guy the Sixers are going to continue to turn to no matter what. On Sunday, Nurse had Embiid play the entire second half and 44 minutes total in a 97-92 loss to the Knicks.

Embiid shot 2-for-7 in the second half and only had one point and one rebound in the fourth quarter. It was an overall tough effort for him as it appeared he had run out of gas.

“He was feeling good and wanted to go,” said Nurse afterward. “I think all these games are all must-wins and we didn’t have a very good stretch when he was out in the first half so we were willing to continue on.”

Nurse isn’t wrong about the first-half stretch. Paul Reed played four minutes in the second quarter and New York went on an 8-2 run as it went right at Reed. Nurse saw the issues and inserted Embiid back in quickly.

“It’s tough, especially playing all these minutes, but it’s unfortunate,” Embiid added. “You’re competitive nature is always gonna take over and I felt like that they always come back in the game in this series so I was like ‘I got nothing to lose’. I just gotta push myself. Obviously, it didn’t work out the way I wanted to, but like I said, it’s whatever it takes to win.”

Still, when considering everything Embiid is dealing with, it is understandable that the big fella couldn’t be his dominant self in this one. He admitted to not feeling great, but he’s doing everything he can to help the Sixers in this series.

“Not good, but like I said, I gotta keep pushing,” Embiid explained. “Whatever it takes to win.”

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire