Friday, June 14, 2024

NBA: Joel Embiid stars for Philadelphia 76ers after Bell’s Palsy diagnosis

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Philadelphia 76ers centre Joel Embiid says he is “not a quitter” after producing his best-ever post-season performance, despite dealing with the facial condition Bell’s palsy.

Bell’s palsy causes facial muscle weakness or paralysis, affecting the muscles on one side of the face.

Embiid scored a play-off career-high 50 points in Philadelphia’s 125-114 win over the New York Knicks, in game three of their play-off series.

“Pretty annoying with the left side of my face, my mouth and my eye,” he said.

“It’s been tough, but I’m not a quitter. Got to keep fighting through anything.”

Embiid, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2023, said he had been dealing with the condition since Philadelphia’s win over the Miami Heat on 17 April.

“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 said.

“It’s unfortunate, that’s the way I look at it. But that’s not an excuse. Got to keep pushing.”

Despite noticeable moments of his face appearing to droop to one side during the game, Embiid shot 13 of 19 from the field and 19 of 21 from the free-throw line.

The win cuts the 76ers’ deficit in the Eastern Conference first-round play-offs to 2-1.

Game four in the best-of-seven series will be played in Philadelphia on Sunday.

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