|-2.5 PHI (-117) @ Betamerica|
My 10* Weekend Wipeout is on the Phi 7ers at 7:05 ET.
The 23-23 Memphis Grizzlies begin a four-game road trip with a stop in Philadelphia on Sunday. Memphis is currently 9th in the West, a half-game back of the 8th-seed. Seeds 7 through 10 enter a "Play-In" format for the final two seeds in each conference and Memphis is three games back of the No. 7 and also three games up on the 11-seed, the last team out of the playoff picture. The 76ers welcome the Grizzlies to Philadelphia off a 122-113 Saturday victory over the Timberwolves. which allowed them to move into a tie with the Brooklyn Nets for the East's best record (both teams are 34-15).
Memphis is also off a game with Minnesota, when the Grizzlies beat the Timberwolves 120-108 on Friday in Memphis. EIGHT players scored in double-digits for the Grizzlies, as center Jonas Valanciunas (16.2 & 12.5) collected 19 points and 11 rebounds. It was his NINTH straight double-double with Valanciunas recording 16 straight games with at least 10 rebounds.PG Morant (19.3 & 7.4 APG) had a modest 11 points but as noted, SIX others were in double digits. Joining Morant and Valanciunas in double digits on the season are Brooks (16.0), Anderson (12.4-5.8-3.4), Clarke (11.6 & 5.6) and Allen 10.0).
The "big news" for Philly last night was the return of MVP candidate Joel Embiid. The four-time All-Star center returned with a flourish on Saturday (following a 10-game absence due to a bone bruise in his left knee) by scoring 24 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. He's averaging 29.9 & 11.3 on the season, joined in the starting lineup by PF Harris (20.5 & 7.3) and SF Green (9.7 & 3.6) plus guards Simmons (15.5-7.9-7.4) and Curry (13.0). Guard Milton (14.1) has been the leading scorer off the bench all season plus veteran center Howard (7.0 & 8.2) has played in 47 of Philly's 48 games this season.
Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers told reporters that he wasn't sure if Embiid would play on Sunday but note that the 76ers were 7-3 during his recent 10-game absence. The 76ers are 12-3 since March 1, losing only in OT at home to Milwaukee plus at the LA Clippers and Denver. Can we all agree that Memphis is NOT in the class of those three teams? Memphis is tipping off a stretch in which the Grizzlies will play 11 of their next 14 games away from home and up first is Philadelphia, which owns the NBA's second-best 20-4 home record. at home. Philly will also remember barely losing a 106-104 decision in Memphis on Jan 16, a game Joel Embiid sat out for rest purposes. Embiid or no Embiid, Philly wins "with room to spare!"