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Sixers get back Embiid as they look to split home-and-home vs. Bulls

The Sixers again face off with the Chicago Bulls after falling to them just this past Saturday. This time, however, they will have Joel Embiid back in the lineup.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers will again face off with the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night, this time on home turf and with the league’s reigning MVP back in the lineup.

The Sixers and Bulls head to South Philadelphia for the second leg of a home-and-home. The Bulls defeated the Sixers 105-92 on Saturday evening, with Nick Nurse’s squad looking worn down on the latter end of a road back-to-back. They still were without leader Joel Embiid, who missed his fourth consecutive game after spraining his right ankle on Dec. 22.

But circumstances look different today. Not only did the team get a few days off, but, for the first time in over a week, Embiid’s name does not appear on the team’s injury report, indicating he will make his return to action on Tuesday night. This obviously changes the dynamics of this matchup compared to Saturday. Paul Reed did his best to fill the void left by Embiid, but those are some impossible shoes to fill. Chicago’s Andre Drummond was able to notch 15 points and pull in 23 rebounds paired against Reed. Reed was active and energetic on Drummond, just not always effective. The battle between Embiid and Drummond is likely to be a different scenario and will hopefully help the Sixers stop getting out-rebounded by such a stark margin.

That and, of course, the Sixers are getting back a more than 30 points per game on average player in their star center. That should take some of the pressure off of the shoulders of Tyrese Maxey, who had mixed results without Embiid these past four games, ranging from a nearly career-worst performance on Christmas Day to dropping 42 points just a few days later.

A new injury of note for the Sixers, however, is that of De’Anthony Melton. Melton is listed as out for Tuesday’s contest with lumbar spine soreness. The Sixers’ starting two guard dealt with a lingering back issue last season. This will likely mean that Nicolas Batum will be slotted back into the starting lineup along with Kelly Oubre, Jr. and possibly some different rotations from Nick Nurse to fill the void.

The Bulls’ injury situation is about the same as it was for Saturday. Zach LaVine is still absent for Chicago with right foot inflammation that has sidelined him since Nov. 30. Nikola Vucevic also remains out after missing the last three games with a groin strain along with Lonzo Ball, who’s out for the season. Torrey Craig and Onuralp Bitim are also out.

With that smattering of injuries aside, the Bulls are likely to be led by DeMar DeRozen, who led the floor on Saturday with 24 points, and Coby White, who put up 20. The Sixers will have to slow them down without the defense of Melton.

Other keys for the Sixers when looking back at Saturday’s performance will be more efficient shooting and rebounding. They shot a dreadful 39.1 percent from the floor and an even more dismal 23.7 percent from beyond the arc in addition to being out-rebounded 53-36 in the loss.

The Sixers and Bulls tip off at 7 p.m. ET.

Game Details

Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago Bulls

When: 7:00 pm EST

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Follow: @LibertyBallers

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