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Joel Embiid’s Career-High 50 Points Power 76ers Past Zach LaVine, Bulls

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Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts after a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Joel Embiid‘s MVP case surged Friday when he posted his first career 50-point performance in the Philadelphia 76ers‘ 112-105 victory over the Chicago Bulls at the Wells Fargo Center. 

The big man added 17 rebounds and five assists, becoming the first Philadelphia player to notch a 50-15-5 outing since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968, per StatMuse. Embiid’s four blocks and two steals proved to be an added bonus on an epic evening. 

StatMuse @statmuse

Joel Embiid tonight:

50 PTS (career-high)
17 REB
5 AST
2 STL
4 BLK

He is the first Sixer with a 50/15/5 game since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968. https://t.co/mUn4TK52Ix

With point guard Ben Simmons unavailable, the franchise center lived up to his billing and scored nearly half of Philadelphia’s points on 17-of-26 shooting from the field. 

Zach LaVine countered with 30 points, but Embiid helped bury the Bulls in the final minute. 

Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA

With that 50 point outing Joel Embiid is now averaging 30.5 points on just 17.8 shots per game.

With Philadelphia up 107-103 and just 50 seconds left in regulation, Embiid caught the ball on the wing, drove on Thaddeus Young and unveiled a devastating step-back shot that put the game out of reach. 

ESPN @espn

CAREER-HIGH 49 POINTS FOR JOEL EMBIID 🔥 https://t.co/hpvsQ6EOLD

It was not only a statement performance from Embiid but also a reminder of what he’s always been capable of.

The Kansas alum had previously recorded 10 career games with at least 40 points, but he seemingly couldn’t be stopped Friday, spinning off defenders for uncontested layups, Eurostepping his way down the line and going coast-to-coast in just three dribbles. 

NBA @NBA

That’s a 7’0+ center. 🤯

25 at the half for Joel Embiid on ESPN. https://t.co/9Wi4P0JEJk

Michael Lee @MrMichaelLee

Doc had TMac in ORL, the Big 3 in BOS, CP, Blake, Kawhi & PG in LA but has never had a low post presence like Joel Embiid. He’s pushing him to be more but Joel is determined to dominate, to be an MVP. It’s really cool to see a player develop into what he said he was going to be.

In his fifth season of action, Embiid is proving he can still get better. Head coach Billy Donovan’s Bulls were simply the latest team to find out. 

Wendell Carter Jr. couldn’t keep up, rookie Patrick Williams was too raw and Young picked up four fouls and frequently watched Embiid shoot over him. 

Heading into Friday’s game, Embiid was averaging 29.7 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per night while shooting 54.0 percent from the floor and 39.7 percent from three. He’d scored fewer than 31 points just once in his last nine contests and now has nine games with at least 35 points this season. 

As the MVP candidates continue to spar for the position, Embiid has ensured his name will remain near the top of the list.   

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