Joel Embiid, Montrezl Harrell exchange words after scuffle in Sixers win

The Philadelphia 76ers were cruising to a pretty easy win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday night. The Sixers had built a lead as large as 23 in the third quarter and they were on their way to a 117-96 win on the road to get back over .500.

All seemed calm for the Sixers in this one until Joel Embiid and Wizards big man Montrezl Harrell got into a bit of a scuffle in the third quarter. Embiid and Harrell exchanged some shoves and some pushes. They were both called for double technical fouls at that point.

“He flopped and he got me pretty hard,” Embiid explained. “I don’t think he made a play on the ball. He got me pretty hard and we got tangled. That was really it. He was holding me and tried to hold me.”

On the next Wizards possession, Harrell got a dunk and he yelled in the direction of Embiid. On the next Sixers possession, Embiid outmuscled Harrell for an And-1 and Harrell pushed him after the play was over and he earned a second technical foul causing the ejection.

“I happened to, on that second tech, I just happened to be smarter,” Embiid added. “I knew in that situation, I’m too valuable to my team to put myself in that situation and get a second technical foul so he just happened to react after giving up an And-1 and that got him out of there.”

On the night, Embiid finished with 36 points and 13 rebounds while Harrell had 15 off the bench for Washington. As Harrell was getting ejected, he looked as if he was barking back at Embiid when walking off the floor. The Philadelphia superstar just smiled and went to the free-throw line and took his two shots.

“I was just smiling,” Embiid added. “I was smiling because he told me that I didn’t do anything all game which is surprising because, at that point, I think I had like 30 in 20 minutes. Like I said, I’m just glad we got the win.”

Harrell was asked about the scuffle and he called Embiid out a bit after it was all over:

He got an and-one, he wanted to yell in my face and stuff like that. I pushed him off … He was ‘Oh, oh, I got pushed.’ Stand on your toughness bro. If you are so tough and you’re you know, stand on that my dude. Don’t start doing the nitpicking and the pointing and wanting to do that talking when the ref walks by. Stand on that my guy, because as you see, I am.

Despite what Harrell might think, Embiid is proud of himself for getting in Harrell’s head and making his point.

“That’s the whole thing about high basketball IQ,” the big fella finished. “I wouldn’t say I baited him into that, but I like to think I’m a troll. I like to think that I kinda made him get out of his comfort zone and I got him kicked out. It’s just basketball. I’m playing basketball. Basketball is also mental. You have to be able to get into the opposition’s heads and that’s what I did. I’m just glad we got the win.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!