Preview: Williamson and New Orleans visit Embiid and the 76ers


FILE – In this March 6, 2020, file photo, New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson walks onto the court during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in New Orleans. A Florida appeals court has granted Williamson’s motion to block his former marketing agent’s effort to have the ex-Duke star answer questions about whether he received improper benefits before playing for the Blue Devils. The order Wednesday shifts the focus to separate but related case between the same litigants in federal court in North Carolina. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza, File)

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Pelicans (30-36, 11th in the Western Conference) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (45-21, first in the Eastern Conference)

Philadelphia; Friday, 7 p.m. EDT

BOTTOM LINE: Joel Embiid and Zion Williamson meet when Philadelphia squares off against New Orleans. Embiid is third in the NBA averaging 29.1 points per game and Williamson is eighth in the league averaging 27.0 points per game.

The 76ers are 25-7 in home games. Philadelphia is 30-8 when winning the rebound battle and averages 45.4 rebounds per game.

The Pelicans are 12-19 on the road. New Orleans leads the Western Conference with 11.6 offensive rebounds per game led by Steven Adams averaging 3.7.

The teams meet for the second time this season. The Pelicans won 101-94 in the last matchup on April 9. Williamson led New Orleans with 37 points, and Tobias Harris led Philadelphia with 23 points.

TOP PERFORMERS: Embiid is averaging 29.1 points and 10.8 rebounds for the 76ers. Shake Milton is averaging 11.3 points over the last 10 games for Philadelphia.

Williamson ranks third on the Pelicans with 7.2 rebounds and averages 27 points. Lonzo Ball is averaging 6.7 assists and 16.3 points over the last 10 games for New Orleans.

LAST 10 GAMES: 76ers: 6-4, averaging 114.8 points, 43.7 rebounds, 24.7 assists, 10.4 steals and 6.4 blocks per game while shooting 48.5% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 107.6 points on 45.3% shooting.

Pelicans: 5-5, averaging 118.1 points, 49.3 rebounds, 27 assists, 8.6 steals and 3.8 blocks per game while shooting 48.2% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 114 points on 45.2% shooting.

INJURIES: 76ers: Furkan Korkmaz: out (ankle).

Pelicans: Didi Louzada: day to day (not with team), Brandon Ingram: out (ankle), Nickeil Alexander-Walker: out (ankle), Steven Adams: day to day (toe), Josh Hart: out (thumb).

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