A wild, victorious night in downtown Philly marks another solid evidence of Joel Embiid’s MVP case this season.
“M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!”
With 7.2 seconds remaining in regulation, Embiid boldly accepted the ball in his hands with Philadelphia Sixers trailing a point against the Portland Trail Blazers, 119-118. Guarded by Jusuf Nurkic, the star big man took a few seconds to assess his go-to move as he eventually went on to drive hard.
He quickly pivoted his foot and made a crucial spin move at the free throw line. Despite the help defense by Damian Lillard, Embiid got the space that he needed to deliver a clutch shot and give the Sixers another uplifting win.
Fadeaway jumper. Cash.
The buzzer horned and matched the Philadelphia faithful’s raucous celebration for a marvelous 120-119 home victory. This can’t be more special with their main man in Embiid, who dropped a collective 39 markers and powered them for another dramatic comeback rally.
For context, the Sixers have won the tight duel despite not holding a deficit once in the first 47:59 minutes of action.
“I got the ball at the top of the key and had enough space to really get whatever I wanted,” Embiid said about his winning play, per AP’s Kevin Cooney. “As I dribbled, Dame kind of showed some help so I had to spin back in, but honestly I just wanted to get to my spot which is the free throw area. Once I got there, I just knew I had to make it.”
Embiid’s shot ultimately sealed another gritty showing by the Sixers amid towering margins at their front.
Friday marks the third time that they have fought early adversities this season, coming out with a win despite being down by as much as 20. For the Cameroonian sensation, the never-say-die attitude of his team is truly commendable.
“Down 20, guys could have been saying the game is over and we moved on to the next one,” Embiid said. “But these guys keep on fighting. But we have to stop putting ourselves in these position.”
Despite an inconsistent night, James Harden dropped 19 markers, nine boards, and eight assists. Tyrese Maxey and De’Anthony Melton chipped 13 markers each to contribute to the 76ers’ fourth-straight win.
“It’s something that he works on every day,” said Harden about Embiid’s clutch fadeaway. “That’s why he’s the MVP of the league.”