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Sixers cage Grizzlies

JOE MURPHY/Agence France-Presse Joel Embiid drives his way to 30 points as the Philadelphia 76ers crushed the Memphis Grizzllies, 116-96, in their NBA regular season game.

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Joel Embiid scored 30 points to lead the resurgent Philadelphia 76ers to a fourth straight victory with a 116-96 defeat of the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

Reigning National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Embiid returned from a two-month injury layoff on Tuesday to help the Sixers upset the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The 30-year-old forward followed that up with a 29-point performance in Thursday’s win at Miami, and then led Saturday’s rout of Memphis on the road.

Against Memphis, the Sixers were into their stride quickly, leading from early in the first quarter to complete a wire-to-wire victory.

Embiid, who was rested for most of the fourth quarter with victory assured, finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.

The win saw Philadelphia improve to 43-35 to remain eighth in the Eastern Conference.

Prior to Embiid’s injury in January, the Sixers were safely embedded in the upper reaches of the standings, firmly on course for an automatic playoff spot.

However, in Embiid’s absence, the Sixers slid down the standings and are now in line to fight through the play-in tournament following the conclusion of regular season play on 14 April.

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