76ers play their season finale without All-Star center Joel Embiid because of a knee injury

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid watches from the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid sat out the regular-season finale against Brooklyn on Sunday after he tweaked his surgically repaired left knee in a game last week.

The Sixers still had a chance entering the game of finishing as high as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. They have a shot at finishing fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth. Philadelphia’s only path to No. 5 is to win and for Indiana to lose.

Even against lowly Brooklyn, the 76ers’ path might have gotten more complicated without Embiid.

embiid 76ers
Injured Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid stands during a timeout in the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Friday, March 29, 2024, in Cleveland.AP Photo/Ron Schwane

Embiid hurt his left knee in the final minutes of the first half of Friday night’s game against the Orlando Magic.

Embiid, who missed 29 games after suffering a torn meniscus in a Jan. 30 game at Golden State, landed awkwardly on a layup drive down the lane with about 1:40 left in the second quarter. While play continued, Embiid limped noticeably to midcourt and gave up on the play. He returned to the game in the second half and finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.

Orlando Magic’s Paolo Banchero, center, gets fouled by Philadelphia 76ers’ Nicolas Batum, right, as he is going up for the shot with Joel Embiid, left, defending during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, April 12, 2024, in Philadelphia.AP Photo/Chris Szagola

A year after he was named NBA MVP, Embiid finished the season averaging 34.7 points and 11 rebounds in just 39 games.