PHILADELPHIA (AP)Joel Embiid sank the go-ahead 14-footer with 18.6 seconds left and scored 30 points in his return from a sprained left foot to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 104-101 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.

Embiid showed why he is so valuable to the Sixers when he twisted inside for a bucket with 56 seconds remaining that pulled the Sixers within 100-99. The Sixers forced a shot clock violation with 31 seconds left and that’s when their All-Star center went to work for his biggest plays of the night.

The Hawks still had a chance after Embiid’s big shot but, Embiid busted up Trae Young’s lob pass in the paint. Embiid then made three of four free throws in the closing seconds as the crowd roared ”MVP! MVP!”

Tobias Harris scored 24 points and Shake Milton had 21 for the Sixers.

Young and De’Andre Hunter led the Hawks with 18 points apiece.

Embiid missed the last four games with a sprained left foot and the Sixers didn’t miss a step. They went 3-1 over that span with James Harden and Tyrese Maxey also still out with foot injuries while players such as Milton and Paul Reed lifted them in big moments.

”Can we play the same way when everybody’s back? That will be the key for us,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said.

The 76ers clearly need their big man.

The reigning NBA scoring champion, Embiid needed some time to warm up. He missed his first four shots before sinking one in the second quarter but still finished with 14 points at the break.

The Sixers, winners at Orlando a night earlier, kept feeding Embiid and he got his groove back. He converted a three-point play in the third that tied the game at 75-all and brought the Sixers back from 16 down. Georges Niang and AJ Griffin swapped 3s that made it 80-80.

Milton’s playing time expanded as the Sixers became riddled with injuries. He entered this season averaging 9.7 points and then scored at least 22 in four of the last five games. He shook off a 3-of-10 start in the first half to go 5 of 8 for 11 points in the third.

INJURIES

Hawks: Jalen Johnson (right ankle soreness) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (right knee injury recovery) missed the game.

UP NEXT

Hawks: Play Wednesday at Orlando.

76ers: Play Wednesday at Cleveland.

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