Joel Embiid: They call me ‘Clutch’ for a reason

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid

Philadelphia center Joel Embiid was determined to live up to his nickname Friday against the Hornets. Fortunately for Sixers, he did, and the team prevailed, 133-132 , in overtime.

The 76ers needed all 42 points and 18 rebounds from the player they call “Clutch” after Charlotte rallied from a 21-point third-quarter deficit to almost steal a win on the road.

Embiid drained a game-tying 3-pointer with 34.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter and was 14 of 16 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and overtime to keep Charlotte at bay.

Asked what was going through his mind in those late moments, Embiid said with a smile: “Gotta make them. They call me Clutch for a reason, so gotta make them.

“In practice they call me Clutch. I’ve still yet to show it in a game; tonight I felt like I did a better job of that, but that’s my job. I’ve got to step up when there’s an opportunity.

“I can use power, I can use finesse. Last year in the last-minute situations I struggled a lot, and I feel I’ve been doing a better job. Still got a lot to show and still got a lot to improve on, so I’m excited.”

 

Philadelphia coach Brett Brown felt comfortable depending on Embiid to make his free throws at key moments down the stretch.

“He’s a really good shooter anyway, and he’s confident by nature,” Brown said, “so that’s a pretty good collision of skill and mind that you trust him going to the line and shooting a high percentage. He’s not afraid of the moment.”

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