Sixers star Joel Embiid (knee) out for third straight game

Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid will miss his third straight game due to left knee inflammation when the Philadelphia 76ers host the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

Embiid was ruled out on Thursday’s injury report.

It will mark Embiid’s seventh absence in the Sixers’ past nine games. He did not travel with the team for a four-game road trip from Dec. 25-30 due to a sprained ankle.

He retuned Jan. 2 to post a 31-point triple-double in a win over the Chicago Bulls, but after playing Jan. 5 against the New York Knicks he was sidelined for the next day’s game against Utah.

The 76ers are 2-7 without Embiid available and 21-6 when he plays.

Embiid is averaging a league-best 34.6 points through 27 games, along with 11.8 rebounds, a career-high 6.0 assists and 2.0 blocks per contest.