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Despite scoring a career-high 70 points against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night, Joel Embiid is still focused on winning a title with the Philadelphia 76ers.
“It doesn’t really mean anything until you win the whole thing,” Embiid said after the game.
Joel Embiid has his eyes on the prize 🍿 pic.twitter.com/qhvmCkSIEA
The reigning MVP has consistently discussed his pursuit of a championship over individual accomplishments throughout the 2023-24 season, as the 76ers have routinely fallen short in the playoffs during his career. Embiid told reporters on Jan. 15 that he isn’t concerned about meeting the 65-game threshold to earn consideration for awards, only focusing on his health to prepare for the postseason.
“It doesn’t matter how many games I play, the goal is to be healthy the rest of the year,” he said, per Dan Gelston of the Associated Press.
Although Embiid isn’t interested in relishing his personal achievements, his all-around performance was much-needed during Philadelphia’s 133-123 victory over San Antonio. In addition to his franchise-record 70 points, he secured 18 rebounds and dished out five assists. The only player to match those numbers in a game is Michael Jordan (h/t ESPN’s Tim Bontemps).
Embiid was unstoppable in the paint, doing most of his damage inside the arc. Of his 41 field goal attempts, only two were triples. He also recorded a block and a steal apiece. If he were to maintain his current scoring average of 36.1 points per game throughout the rest of the year, it would represent the highest single-season mark since James Harden during his 2018-19 campaign.
If Embiid also suits up in 65 contests, he could be taking home his second MVP trophy in a row.