Joel Embiid returns after injury scare, but Knicks take Game 1 against 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid exited Game 1 of the Sixers' first-round series against the New York Knicks in the second quarter with an apparent knee injury.

Embiid threw the ball off the backboard and slammed it down to cut the Knicks' lead over the 76ers to three, 49-46, with 2:49 remaining in the first half.

It marked Embiid's first dunk since returning to the lineup earlier this month after undergoing a corrective procedure in early February on a lateral meniscus injury in his left knee. But Embiid's highlight-worthy, self alley-oop quickly turned from cheers to fear for 76ers fans after the reigning league MVP landed awkwardly and went down clutching his left knee after the play.

Embiid remained down on the ground as his teammates and trainers surrounded him. He eventually limped off the court to the locker room ahead of halftime, which saw the Knicks leading 58-46. Embiid had a team-high 18 points in the first half.

He returned to the court, though, at the start of the third quarter and helped the Sixers take an 82-79 lead into the fourth quarter. But Embiid and the 76ers weren't able to fend off the surging Knicks. New York outscored Philadelphia 32-22 in the fourth quarter to win 111-104 and take a 1-0 lead in the first-round series.

Embiid finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Tyrese Maxey had a team-high 33 points, four assists and two blocks.

Knicks stars Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart each recorded 22 points and Miles McBride added 21 points off the bench in the win.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Joel Embiid returns from injury scare, but 76ers drop Game 1 to Knicks