76ers' Joel Embiid 'Wanted to Hear More Boos' After Massive Dunk in Game 3

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 30, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) gestures to the crowd after his dunk during the first half of Game 3 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Washington Wizards, Saturday, May 29, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

In the second quarter of Saturday's Game 3 matchup, Wizards fans loudly jeered Joel Embiid after the Sixers star missed a dunk.

After Embiid threw one down about a minute later, he gave it right back to the fans, cupping his ears as they loudly booed. Speaking to reporters after the Sixers' 132-103 win, Embiid said he loves the playoff atmosphere.

"I missed the dunk, and [the fans] let me hear about it," Embiid said. "I had another opportunity, and I wanted to hear more boos. It gets me going; I like it. I just love playing on the road."

Embiid is no stranger to trash talk and seemed to relish in the loud boos from the Washington crowd. Players have been adjusting on the fly as NBA teams allow a significantly higher number of fans into arenas with COVID-19 vaccinations allowing for more packed arenas around the country.

While some have seemingly struggled in the spotlight, Embiid has played MVP-caliber basketball to lead the Sixers to a 3-0 lead over Washington. He's averaging 29.3 points and 7.0 rebounds through the first three games, needing to play only 28.0 minutes per game as the Sixers rack up blowout victories.

Embiid finished with 36 points and eight rebounds in Saturday's victory.

"Joel was special, special tonight," Sixers coach Doc Rivers said. "We had one of those nights where everything fell for us."

The Sixers will look to close out their first playoff sweep since 1985 on Monday in Washington.