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Basketball: Phildalphia 76ers centre Joel Embiid suffering from Bell's palsy

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts during the second half of Game 3 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the New York Knicks. 25/04/2024   -  
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Matt Slocum/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved


Phildalphia 76ers centre Joel Embiid set his individual best at the NBA playoffs on Thursday despite a diagnosis of Bell's palsy.

Embiid said he had been dealing with the condition since Philadelphia's win over the Miami Heat on 17 April.

Bell's palsy is a form of facial paralysis that affects the muscles on one side of the face.

Embiid, who was the NBA's Most Valuable Player in 2023, said following Thursday's game, "It's been tough, but I'm not a quitter."

"I battled migraines and thought it was nothing. Usually I like to tough it out, but for some reason I ended up having to tell somebody," Embiid explained. "It's unfortunate, that's the way I look at it. But that's not an excuse. Got to keep pushing."

As to his recovery timeline, the player said he does not know when he'll get the all clear.

“It hasn’t really necessarily gotten better,” he said. “With the conversations that I’ve had, it could be weeks, it could be months.

Star of the Sixers

Embiid pushed aside the pain and embraced the pressure after he vowed the 76ers were “going to win this series” against the New York Knicks.

He shot 13 of 19 from the field and 19 of 21 from the free-throw line, scoring 50 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 125-114 win in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

The Cameroonian-American star mostly kept his cool and was in the mix on both ends of the court all game. 

The player was whistled for a flagrant foul after grabbing Mitchell Robinson and dragging him to the court in the first half.

Robinson suffered a sprained left ankle and left the arena in a boot.

“I didn’t mean to hurt anybody,” Embiid said. “In those situations, I’ve got to protect myself.”

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