Philadelphia, PA – In an electrifying display of skill and dominance, Joel Embiid led the Philadelphia 76ers to a nail-biting 103-101 victory against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night. The Cameroonian center racked up a staggering 52 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and two blocks, marking the fifth 50-point game of his career.
As the regular season draws to a close, 76ers coach Doc Rivers didn’t hold back on his thoughts regarding the Most Valuable Player race. “I’m biased, but the MVP race is over,” Rivers proclaimed, adding, “We did so many things wrong, but what we did right was Joel.”
The Celtics’ narrow defeat dashed their hopes of securing top seeding in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Now, they must win all three of their remaining regular-season games and hope for Milwaukee to lose their final three fixtures to reclaim first place and home advantage in the playoffs.
James Harden, who contributed 20 points and 10 assists in 40 minutes for the third-placed 76ers, echoed Rivers’ sentiment on the MVP race, stating, “Joel should win it. He’s been in contention for it the last few years. He led the league in scoring last year.”
Embiid, in his usual jovial manner, responded to the MVP comments, joking that his coach and teammate were “probably right” but emphasized that the team had “bigger goals.”
Elsewhere in the league, Giannis Antetokounmpo secured a triple-double, pushing Milwaukee closer to the Eastern Conference’s top spot with a 140-128 victory over the Washington Wizards. In the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets suffered a surprising 124-103 defeat against the Houston Rockets, leaving the battle for the final two automatic playoff spots wide open among the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Los Angeles Lakers.
With the NBA playoffs fast approaching and Embiid’s MVP-worthy performance fresh in everyone’s mind, the league’s excitement and anticipation are at an all-time high.