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Joel Embiid Boosts MVP Odds After Historic 70-Point Performance

Joel Embiid Boosts MVP Odds After Historic 70-Point Performance article feature image

Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images Pictured: Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid keeps making history.

The reigning MVP dropped 70 points Monday night in Philadelphia’s 133-123 win over San Antonio. Embiid passed the legendary Wild Chamberlain for the most points in a single game in 76ers history, and became only the ninth player to ever score 70 or more. He added 18 boards and five assists for good measure.

A sold-out crowd at Wells Fargo Center waited with bated breath when Embiid took a feed at the top of his own key with 1:46 remaining. All he needed was three dribbles to go coast-to-coast for a lay-up, and the crowd erupted as he notched his 70th point of the game.

Embiid authored his monster performance exactly 18 years to the day after Kobe Bryant famously dropped 81 on the Toronto Raptors for the second-most points in a game in NBA history. In the process, Embiid boosted his chances to accomplish something Bryant never could in his legendary career – win a second MVP.

Embiid won the honors last year, and had the fifth-best odds to repeat at FanDuel (+850) heading into the season. His dominant campaign had already moved him to the front of the pack at +190 before tip-off, just ahead of Nikola Jokić (+240), who's aiming for his third MVP in four seasons. However, Embiid put more distance between the two after his historic performance. He’s now +130 to take home the award while Jokić dropped to +270.

Embiid has scored at least 30 points in 21 straight games as he looks to become the 13th player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVPs. He’d become the third straight player to do so, following Jokic (2021-22) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (2019-20). Embiid would also join Stephen Curry, LeBron James (2x) and Steve Nash as the sixth player to accomplish the feat in the past 20 years.

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Nick Sterling
Feb 24, 2024 UTC