Joel Embiid records 24th 35-point game this season, most by center since Moses Malone

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76ers Joel Embiid records 24th 35-point game this season, most by center since Moses Malone

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers logged his 24th 35-point game of the season, the most by a center since Moses Malone (25) in 1981-82. Malone went on to win MVP that season. Shaquille O’Neal tallied 23 in 1999-00. Embiid has now posted seven straight games with at least 30 points scored.

In Wednesday night’s 118-109 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the six-time All-Star amassed 36 points, 18 rebounds, three assists, and four blocks in 39 minutes of action. Plus, he shot 12-of-19 (63.2%) from the field, 2-of-5 (40%) beyond the arc, and a flawless 10-of-10 (100%) at the foul line.

Based on a few NBA betting sites, Joel Embiid is the No. 1 favorite to win his first MVP award. Sportsbooks show the Sixers center with greater odds than Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

During the fourth quarter, Joel Embiid was issued a charging call against Evan Mobley for his sixth foul of the game. 76ers coach Doc Rivers then challenged the play to keep the four-time All-NBA member in the game. Moments later, officials overturned the offensive foul.

“I thought it was a good call [to overturn],” Embiid said. “I never extended my arm. Right before the hit, you could see he was already starting to flop. I watch basketball every day and I was pretty confident they would call it the other way.”

76ers superstar Joel Embiid logs 24th 35-point game of season, most by a center since Moses Malone in 1981-82

“I thought he flopped,” Rivers added. “I called that one right away. And I didn’t even look at my [replay] guy. I thought there was a good chance they would overturn it. I didn’t think they would foul Joel out on that.” Philadelphia outscored the Cavaliers 34-26 in the final frame.

The 76ers made five consecutive free throws in the final 51 seconds to pick up their sixth straight win. Philly finished 39-of-75 (52%) shooting from the floor and 17-of-36 (47.2%) from 3-point range. Through 55 starts this season, Joel Embiid is averaging a career-high 33.5 points per game, along with 10.2 boards, 4.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.7 blocks.

Embiid is shooting a career-best 54.1% from the field as well. Fellow teammate James Harden also leads the NBA in assists, averaging 10.8 per game. Of course, the three-time scoring champ ended Wednesday night’s outing with 28 points, six rebounds, 12 dimes, and three steals.

Additionally, the last teammates to lead the league in scoring and assists were George Gervin (32.3 PPG) and Johnny Moore (9.6 APG) with the San Antonio Spurs in 1981-82. As the MVP betting favorite, this time Joel Embiid is the worthiest candidate to win. If Moses Malone can win the award, so can the Sixers center.

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