Some truly wild stuff can gain attention in the weird corners of NBA Twitter. This might have been the first time a missed shot was the talk of the night.
Joel Embiid came *this close* to hitting the most incredible game-tying shot Wednesday when his full-court, one-handed, desperation heave banked off the glass and went halfway down before rimming out. Inches from miraculously forcing overtime, the Philadelphia 76ers instead fell to the Phoenix Suns 116-113.
With the Suns up 115-113 with 0.8 seconds left, Chris Paul hit the first of two free throws. He missed the second off the front of the rim. Embiid grabbed the rebound, and in one quick motion, landed and fired a one-handed Hail Mary the length of the floor. He collapsed to the court with his head in his hands in disbelief when the ball hit glass, then off the rim twice and popped out.
“When I threw it, it looked good. It almost did,” Embiid said. “I saw the screen shot, and it looks like it went in and out, and that’s just unfortunate.”
While Embiid and the Sixers were left stunned, Paul and the Suns were breathing a huge sigh of relief.
“I don’t know what to say about that shot,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “It’s just one of those things that could’ve made for a really long flight, long night and not a lot of sleep.”
The rest of the NBA world was right there with Embiid in stunned disbelief.
Here are four more things to know today in the NBA:
Young injures ankle
Trae Young left the Atlanta Hawks’ game late in the third quarter Wednesday with a sprained left ankle and did not return. Young appeared to injure the ankle when he attempted a running shot in the lane and landed awkwardly on the foot of New York Knicks defender Norvel Pelle. X-rays were negative, and Hawks coach Nate McMillan said Young would undergo an MRI on Thursday.
Without Young, the Hawks lost to the Knicks in overtime 137-127, and New York passed Atlanta for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Young’s injury is unfortunate timing for the Hawks, who are right in the middle of the logjam between fourth and eighth in the East. They have 13 games left in the regular season to hold on to a top-six spot and avoid the new play-in tournament.
JJJ makes season debut
Jaren Jackson Jr. was back on the floor for the first time this season Wednesday for the Memphis Grizzlies. Jackson had been out since August after surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee. He came off the bench and played 4-5 minute stretches in each quarter. Jackson finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in 18 minutes but got into a bit of foul trouble during the Grizzlies’ 117-105 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers.
“When I checked in, I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit,” Jackson said. “Just being out there in general was the win for me. While I was out there, I was just having fun.”
The Brow is back
Anthony Davis is expected to make his long-awaited return Thursday when the Los Angeles Lakers face the Dallas Mavericks. Davis has been sidelined since Feb. 14 with a calf strain and tendinosis in his right leg and has missed the last 30 games. He said Wednesday his leg “feels good. I feel 100% healthy. I feel great, especially with the rest of these games left.”
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Wednesday that Davis will start but likely play only about 15 minutes. Vogel will give Davis time to ease back into the rotation, but his return is a boost for the Lakers with 14 games left in the regular season, especially since they’re still unsure when LeBron James will be back from a sprained right ankle.
Game of the night: Sixers at Bucks
Two of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference open a two-game series in Milwaukee that could have an impact on playoff seeding. The season tiebreaker between the teams is on the line after the Bucks took the first meeting on March 17. The Sixers are clinging to the top spot in the East, a half-game ahead of the Nets. The Bucks are 3½ games out of first and could make a run at the No. 1 seed with one last late-season push.
Follow Matt Eppers on Twitter @meppers_.