PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia 76ers continue to roll as Joel Embiid returns to the lineup. They defeated the Atlanta Hawks 104-101 in a close contest. Winners of seven of their last nine games, the Sixers are starting to find a groove as one of their three stars gets back in action.

Embiid understandably got off to a slow start, shooting 0-3 in the first quarter, before finding a rhythm and finishing with 30 points to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks. Sixers head coach Doc Rivers acknowledged that Embiid had a great game but pointed to one reason why he struggled out of the gate (aside from the fact that he had missed several games and needed to get reacclimated).

“I thought he was almost trying too much to get everybody involved, which we want, but we want to get him involved, too,” Rivers said. “So I thought as the game went on he warmed up to that and trying to find the right mix. I loved his handoffs. We threw it out to him too high too much. Instead of catching it on the elbows, I thought he was catching it behind above the three which doesn’t do a lot. So for us, we want to [get him] more at the elbows.”

Embiid tied Shake Milton for the most assists for the Sixers with seven. He found his teammates getting open and rewarded them all throughout the game. Milton helped him get going in the scoring department with some nice two-man sets, which generated looks for both of them.

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Joel Embiid’s growing abilities as a playmaker also show in his frequent directing of the offense. As he gets back in action after missing four games, he will work to balance that with him getting his own looks. “You want to give him the ball but we have to keep the guys have to keep playing as well. Joel saw that,” Rivers said. “Joel was trying to get the ball to guys. So we have some work to do, but it’s easy work.”

The Sixers will now head back on the road and face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.