Draymond's praise of Jokić fueled Embiid's big game vs. Dubs


Joel Embiid had all the bulletin board material he needed. 

The Philadelphia 76ers center went off, scored 46 points, collected nine rebounds and dished out eight assists in the Warriors' 120-112 win over the Sixers on Friday night at Chase Center.

Warriors forward Draymond Green told reporters after the game that Embiid was extra-motivated for the matchup because of comments Green made about fellow NBA MVP-hopeful Nikola Jokić. 

"He said, 'You know why I played like that tonight? You said Jokić was the hardest player to guard in the league. So I took that personal,' " Green said, quoting Embiid. 

After facing off against Embiid, Green since has changed his mind.

"So I want to tell you all, Joel is the hardest guy in the league," Green said laughing.

The Warriors did everything they could to stop Embiid, but without much success. However, Green believes the pressure Golden State's defense put on the 7-foot center throughout the game finally resulted in a few missed baskets at the end of the game. 

"You just don't want to give a steady diet," Green said. "In that fourth quarter, we just tried to throw different looks at him, we fired a couple times, we sent double teams from the top of the floor, we sent double teams from the bottom of the floor. We caught the ball at the 3-point line one time we set the double team. Coach gave us the free will to kind of fake some hits and pull back and tried to keep him off balance. 

"[Kevon Looney] did an incredible job all night just battling him. And in saying that, he finished with 46 points, but the way Loon battled and kept a body on him all night, the hope is you wear him down. Some of those shots he was making throughout the game, during the last six minutes of the fourth quarter he missed a few of them. Just gotta trust your defense and trust your process and we did a good job of that."

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Although Embiid put up eye-popping numbers against Golden State, further solidifying his MVP candidacy, Green and the Warriors came away with a huge win over the Sixers. 

Unfortunately for Green, he will face off against the now-second-toughest player in the league to guard when the Warriors face off against Jokić and the Denver Nuggets one last time on April 4 at Ball Arena. 

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