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Joel Embiid out against Miami Heat on Monday

An intriguing matchup becomes a lot less intriguing.

Toronto Raptors v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

On the second half of a back-to-back, Joel Embiid will sit out the Philadelphia 76ers’ Monday contest against the Miami Heat due to back soreness.

Beyond his three-week COVID absence, Embiid has hardly been sidelined this season. Monday will mark just his fourth missed game independent of his bout with COVID. As of the 1:30 p.m. injury report, Embiid was the lone non-G League assignee listed for the Sixers.

For Miami, Jimmy Butler (right ankle sprain) and Caleb Martin (hyperextended left knee) are questionable, while Victor Oladipo (back spasms), Gabe Vincent (toe contusion) and Kyle Guy (G League assignment) are all out.

Although Embiid being ruled out doesn’t guarantee a loss, it certainly makes things much tougher. A loss would also almost assuredly prevent Philadelphia from catching Miami for the East’s top seed — not that it was likely anyway. Ahead of Monday’s game, Philadelphia is 3.5 games back and already lost the season series between these clubs.

The Heat and Sixers will tip off at 7:30 p.m.