For the fourth time in his five appearances, Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid started at center in the All-Star Game. Of course, he’s been named a starter each of the past five seasons, but couldn’t play last year due to health and safety protocols.
Enjoying the most prolific campaign of his season, Embiid carried that success to the exhibition format, producing his best All-Star Game to date. In a 163-160 defeat against Team LeBron, he scored 36 points, which led Team Durant and was second to Stephen Curry’s 50-piece among all players. Thirty-six points is a career-high across his four All-Star Games.
Regardless of the outcome, anyone other than Curry winning MVP seemed implausible, but Embiid was his best challenger. It was an efficient 36 for the big man, too. He went 14 of 20 from the floor and netted 5 of his 8 long-range attempts.
The game’s free-flowing nature empowered Embiid, who also notched 10 rebounds and four assists, to showcase his perimeter skills. He cooked off the dribble beyond the arc, powered home an array of dunks — including a windmill slam — and thrived in transition. Down the stretch, Team Durant ran its offense through the MVP candidate.
36 PTS | 10 REB | 4 AST— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 21, 2022
our EMVPIID did not disappoint tonight. pic.twitter.com/GdJ74VKQ41
Another wrinkle, independent of Embiid’s showing: James Harden, who did not play as he recovers from left hamstring tightness, was introduced as a Philadelphia 76er — in case any of you forgot he’s on the team now.
Tons of cool content from Sunday’s festivities featuring Harden and Embiid are scattered across the Sixers’ Twitter page for those who wish to see more. I’ll leave you all with this: