Joel Embiid hit two three-pointers on six attempts in the Philadelphia 76ers' 121-105 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, and after the game he told reporters he took exception to how his opponents defended him.
"I like shooting threes, but you're not going to disrespect me by giving me a lot of space," Embiid said. "In that situation, I'm going to shoot it. I'm Joel Embiid. I don't get disrespected. I do the disrespecting."
Embiid, 24, disrespected the Lakers with his play Tuesday night, finishing with 28 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and a block in 30 minutes.
The superstar center talks a big game, but he more than backs it up. He's averaging 27.2 points, 13.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.9 blocks per contest, and has emerged as one of the NBA's best two-way players. He's earned his second straight All-Star start and has led the Sixers to a 33-18 record, good for fourth in the Eastern Conference.
He did suffer a scare Tuesday, however, as he crashed to the floor awkwardly in the fourth quarter after a missed alley-oop attempt:
Embiid has had back soreness for several weeks and missed Saturday's loss to the Denver Nuggets. He returned to Tuesday's game after he went to the locker room and stretched, however—a welcome sign for the Sixers.
"I felt like I was going into hyper-extension, but I got caught up and ended up putting it back in place," Embiid said of his back, per Keith Pompey of Philly.com. "But I'm fine."
Keeping Embiid healthy remains priority No. 1 for the Sixers as they seek a title.