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Virus fears for Embiid, 76ers as Nets fall

Joel Embiid joined Matisse Thybulle and two other Philadelphia teammates on the sideline under a COVID-19 cloud and it finally caught up with the streaking 76ers in a 103-96 NBA loss to New York.

A plucky six-game winning streak came to a halt on their home court, four-time All-Star Embiid out due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

The protocols are in place for players who have tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with someone who has contracted the virus.

Isaiah Joe and Boomers talent Thybulle had already been scratched for the same reason after star teammate Tobias Harris tested positive.

ESPN, citing sources, reported that Embiid tested positive for COVID-19.

Neither the 76ers nor coach Doc Rivers would confirm a positive test.

Rivers said before the game that Embiid was “struggling.”

“It’s not going great. He’s struggling with it. Similar to Tobias (Harris),” Rivers said. “It’s clearly is a concern.”

They had done well to weather that storm, on top of the continued absence of wantaway All-Star Ben Simmons who is yet to play this season for personal reasons.

Julius Randle’s 31 points, including eight straight in a key fourth-quarter stretch, proved too much though as they dropped to 8-3 for the season, still good enough for top spot after Miami’s loss to Denver.

Andre Drummond started in place of Embiid, and had 14 points and 25 rebounds.

The Knicks led by as many as 19 points in the first half and looked on their way to a blowout, but Philadelphia used a 25-14 third quarter to pull within one point on multiple occasions before Randle took over.

Patty Mills’ (five points, two assists) Brooklyn also saw their five-game winning streak halted, Chicago scoring 42 fourth-quarter points to pull away for a 118-95 victory.

DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points, Zach LaVine added 24 Chicago native Ayo Dosumnu had a season-high 15 points, playing a key role in the late rally as Chicago snapped a two-game losing streak.

Kevin Durant, who entered the game as the NBA’s leading scorer with a 28.6 average, had 38 points and 10 rebounds.

Steph Curry hit nine three-pointers on his way to 50 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and three steals in Golden State’s win over Atlanta.

And Ja Morant (33 points, six rebounds, eight assists) starred in Memphis’s comeback defeat of Minnesota in overtime.

The Timberwolves led by 16 points midway through the final quarter but fell to a fifth straight loss.

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