Joel Embiid Ties Career-High as Sixers Cruise Past Magic

NBA: APR 09 76ers at Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS, LA – APR 09: New Orleans Pelicans center Willy Hernangomez (9) fouls Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during a NBA game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA on Apr 09, 2021. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

It’s Joel Embiid’s world, and we’re all living in it. In a game that saw the Sixers start out excruciatingly slow, Joel Embiid proved to be the exception as he came out with a purpose against the Magic. Embiid has consistently been one of the top players in the NBA for some time now. That continued to be the case as the Sixers cruised past the Magic by a score of. 123-110.

It didn’t take long for Embiid to take over the game as he scored 20 of the Sixers’ first 22 points. As impressive an accomplishment as that is, it’s certainly concerning that the team couldn’t generate any offense around him, but more on that in a bit. The Cameroonian King looked beyond comfortable getting anything that he wanted against a simply overmatched Orlando Magic team. In just three quarters, Embiid put up 47 points in just 26 minutes. It only took him one more minute to tie his career-high of 50 points.

Embiid has been a clear contender for the NBA’s MVP award all season long and yet hasn’t gotten the mention of a Nikola Jokic, Kevin Durant, or Giannis Antetokounmpo. Things have started to turn around as of late, but Embiid is still considered in the 4-6 tier instead of the top-three candidate that he deserves to be.

While a win over Orlando won’t inspire any voters, the way that Embiid won this game and willed his team to complete shows that he is, in fact, the most valuable player in the league. The Sixers are now 12-2 in their last 14 games, and this team has, against the odds, looked like one that may make some noise in the playoffs.

That will be the case, at least as long as the rest of the team continues to perform. For much of tonight, that was a major question mark. The entire team struggled on both sides of the court until a fire-charged third quarter led by Joel Embiid. After that, Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey were able to help alleviate the pressure, but the team will need more from their support players going forward.

It’s not enough to be able to flip the switch in the second half against a bad team. The Sixers will need the rest of the team to be capable of performing from the jump. While anything seems possible behind Joel Embiid, things may prove too challenging if he has to play the other team five on one.

The Sixers will have a night off until Friday when they continue the soft part of their schedule as they welcome the injured LA Clippers to Philly. Tip-off is at 7:00 PM, and you can watch on NBC Sports Philadelphia or listen live, as always, at 97.5 FM The Fanatic.