76ers' Joel Embiid: I Respectfully Told Nick Nurse to 'Stop B---hing About Calls'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 19, 2022

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, Monday, April 18, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Joel Embiid and Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse had a talk near the end of the Philadelphia 76ers' 112-97 victory in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series Monday, and the big man didn't have a problem disclosing what he said.

"Respectfully, to stop b---hing about calls," Embiid told reporters when asked what he said. "... I feel like every foul was legit and should have been more, honestly."

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Joel Embiid and Nick Nurse had words for each other at the end of the game. <a href="https://t.co/6JihHL5d9A">pic.twitter.com/6JihHL5d9A</a>

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Joel Embiid explains what he told Nick Nurse at the end of Game 2 πŸ‘€πŸ˜… <a href="https://t.co/tUToBrJdlx">pic.twitter.com/tUToBrJdlx</a>

Nurse said Embiid told him he was going to keep knocking down free throws, and Nurse told Embiid he "might have to," suggesting the Raptors will continue to be physical with the MVP candidate. Embiid finished 12-of-14 from the charity stripe while helping put Philadelphia up 2-0 in the series with 31 points and 11 rebounds.

Embiid shot 12 free throws in the first quarter as Toronto came out with a physical approach after dropping Game 1 on Saturday, 131-111.

Perhaps Nurse's complaining worked since Embiid didn't draw as many fouls later in the contest, but it was to no avail for the visitors.

Even though Embiid made 11 of those early free throws, the Raptors won the first quarter 33-32. But they were down 15 at halftime, and the game was never in doubt.

Embiid led the way, but all five 76ers starters scored in double figures with Tobias Harris (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Tyrese Maxey (23 points, nine rebounds, eight assists) impressing in supporting roles.

It's not a great sign for Toronto that Philadelphia had little trouble even though James Harden finished with a quiet 14 points on 3-of-9 shooting with six rebounds, six assists and three steals. The Raptors will surely have to deal with the 10-time All-Star when he finds his rhythm as a shooter.

Toronto was without Scottie Barnes because of an ankle injury, and Gary Trent Jr. played just 10 minutes because of a non-COVID-19 illness. It didn't have the firepower to keep pace even with OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam scoring at least 20 points apiece.

Perhaps the story will change when the series shifts to Ontario for Games 3 and 4, but Embiid looked unstoppable against an overmatched frontcourt that oftentimes couldn't do anything but foul.