PJ Tucker explains his pep talk with Joel Embiid late in win over Celtics

PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia 76ers needed their MVP to step up in a big moment on Sunday afternoon in Game 4 with the Boston Celtics. Joel Embiid did not have a great fourth quarter as he appeared to be running out of steam late on Sunday afternoon.

Embiid had his shot blocked by Al Horford and the big fella was settling for shots he shouldn’t have been settling for.

Then, PJ Tucker stepped in and wanted to wake him up. He walked right up to Embiid and very demonstratively was in his face trying to get him to wake up a bit.

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“Nobody can guard Joel one-on-one,” Tucker said. “There’s no way. I’m sorry. There’s not a disrespect to Al or anybody else, but I’ve guarded him for a lot of years, and when he’s aggressive and assertive, it’s impossible. I saw him two or three plays in a row not do that, and we can’t have that. We can’t have that. Not with the season on the line. We can’t have that.”

In the extra session, Embiid had four of the nine points Philadelphia scored in overtime as the Sixers went on to win it 116-115. Tucker also had a big And-1 to tie the game at 105 in regulation. He gave the Sixers a huge boost with his toughness and his ability to make the little plays.

“Just will, determination, just wanting to win,” Tucker said. “I just got back in the game, so I had to leave an imprint somehow. Usually, it’s an offensive rebound in those moments when James (Harden), Joel, or Tyrese (Maxey) are attacking.”


Game 5 of this series is on Tuesday back in Boston.


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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire