The Philadelphia 76ers lost 128-124 in Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
Joel Embiid, playing with a meniscus tear in his right knee, finished the game with 39 points and nine rebounds.
"Playing on a torn meniscus is not easy," said Embiid after the game. "All I got to do is keep managing it. Do my best. Get as much treatment as I can. Try to manage it to make sure that it doesn't swell up too much. Obviously, the pain is going to be there. That's normal.
"But it's all about managing it, doing whatever it takes to win. Because my goal is to win the championship. I'm going to put my body on the line to make sure that happens. I'm going to give everything I got."
The Sixers trailed by as much as 53-27 in the second quarter before cutting the lead down to two points with 10.5 seconds left.
Doc Rivers was weary of pushing Embiid late in the game after the center logged 38 minutes.
"When we were trapping and running around in that last three minutes and obviously we made a run, I did not like him on the floor at that point because I didn't want him doing those things, if you want to be honest. That's why we told him to just stand back. Because those are the ones that you get injured on," said Rivers afterwards.
Embiid, who disagreed with Rivers' assessment, said that he was going to play hard regardless of the situation.
"As long as I'm OK to be out there and I'm going to give my best and I'm going to keep pushing until I can't. But as long as I'm out there, I'm going to play hard. I'm going to dive for loose balls. I'm going to do whatever it takes to win."