DimeMag

The Sixers Beat The Jazz Thanks To Joel Embiid’s Wild Three To Send It To Overtime

The two teams currently atop the East and West met on Wednesday night when the Jazz visited the Sixers as their final game before the All-Star Break, and despite the weeklong break coming up, both teams brought their A game into Philly.

The Jazz came out hot, as they are wont to do, lighting the Sixers up from three-point range, going 21-of-44 from deep on the night. However, the Sixers climbed back into the game on the back of an absolutely monstrous performance from Joel Embiid, who put quite the bullet point on his MVP resume with 40 points and 19 rebounds against Rudy Gobert and company.

His biggest shot of the night came late, after a somewhat dubious review led to the ball staying with the Sixers after it appeared Royce O’Neale saved the ball before stepping out of bounds — the explanation given was that the ball touched a ref while out of bounds. With the clock winding down, Embiid caught the ball in the post against Bojan Bogdanovic and, recognizing the time for a quick two had gone, darted to the three-point line, pumped, and then hit a preposterous shot over Bogdanovic to tie the game.

A Mike Conley floater on the other end went begging, and the game went to overtime where the Sixers ran away with a 131-123 win thanks to a 9-0 run to close on a strong play from Tobias Harris (who finished with 22 points) and Embiid as well — and two technicals from Donovan Mitchell, who had 33 to lead the Jazz in scoring, to get himself ejected as Utah was on tilt with the officiating after the review on O’Neale. Embiid even helped the refs with the decision to T up Mitchell.

There was also a period in the third quarter where Dwight Howard took over with the bench unit, hitting a rare three and making some big defensive plays to erase a double-digit deficit for the Sixers, which was the real catalyst for making this game as fun and competitive as it was down the stretch.

Embiid did a bit of everything on both ends, hitting a couple clutch threes late, putting on a show on the block and in the midrange against Gobert down low, and coming up with some key blocks.

The Sixers will go to the break at 24-12, atop the Eastern Conference and feeling great about where they stand and with Embiid firmly in place as one of the MVP frontrunners this season. The Jazz drop to 27-9, but likewise finish first in the West after half of the season, and will look to continue their tremendous team play and execution in the second half to earn homecourt throughout.

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