Monday night couldn’t have gone much worse for Joel Embiid.
The Philadelphia 76ers star center was held scoreless for the first time in his NBA career in a 101-96 loss to a Toronto Raptors who knocked them out of the playoffs in heartbreaking fashion last season.
He went 0-for-11 from the field and 0-for-3 from the free-throw line while getting handled once again by Raptors big man Marc Gasol.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, it was the most field goal attempts without a make by a 76ers player in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55).
Embiid’s fellow countryman in Raptors star forward Pascal Siakam dropped 25 points on the Sixers, including a last-second dunk while up three — which wasn’t necessarily the best display of sportsmanship. Granted, Embiid hasn’t really conformed to that sportsmanship code, either, throughout his young NBA career.
The Sixers star also had to deal with famous Raptors fan and recording artist Drake, who was seen continuously chirping him from his courtside seats.
Again, not a banner night for Embiid.
“I can’t have this type of production,” he said after the game. “I would have never thought I would be here talking about zero points in an NBA game. But it is what it is.”
“Some nights you make shots, some nights you don’t.”
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak, though Josh Richardson put together a strong showing with 25 points while Ben Simmons added 10 points and a season-high 14 assists.
“Getting zero production from me offensively and we still end up being pretty close,” Embiid said. “That says a lot about the group of guys we’ve got. We got a lot of talent. We got a lot of guys that can pick it up when someone is cold so that’s great to see.”
The Sixers’ schedule softens with that difficult trip to Toronto know in the books.
Philadelphia hosts the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night before heading to Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks on Friday.
Expect Embiid to get back on track as he’s averaged 24.3 points and 14.3 rebounds per game in four career outings against the Kings.
However, the 76ers have had their problems with the Western Conference minnows, losing three of their last four meetings dating back to the 2017-18 season.
While this is a Sacramento team that has not made the playoffs since 2006, things are looking up for the organization.
Buddy Hield is continuing his development as a legitimate scorer in the NBA, averaging 20.4 points per game this season while speedy point guard De’Aaron Fox is posting 18.2 points and seven assists per night.
A 7-9 start for the Kings won’t jump off the page, especially in the Western Conference, but it’s the organization’s third-best start through 16 games this decade.