A Joel Embiid and James Harden Masterclass Against The Rockets
In another display of pure class, James Harden showed up against his former side, the Houston Rockets. His teammate Embiid was a doubt for the game with a foot injury and was barely 100% throughout, but he still managed to shine.
Most basketball fans have been betting on Embiid to make the MVP list in 2023, and he wasn’t about to let off one of his main ambitions this year. He joined his teammates on-court for a masterful display of talent, and proved he was worth the MVP title.
Besides betting whether or not Embiid will make the cut in being one of the MVP players this year, bookmakers also have other exciting basketball bets you can place. If you check out top betting site reviews like this TopSport Review, you’ll find out what else you can leverage while wagering, including bonuses.
If your mind is already made up about Embiid and you’ll bet on him to be an MVP, here’s some good news. His odds didn’t drop by much because of his previous injuries, and we are sure they will adjust them sooner rather than later after his performance against the Rockets.
NBA Players must perform at their peak to make the MVP list. A long-term injury, in particular, scuffles this ambition unless the player manages to heal in time for the postseason championship playoffs.
The Philadelphia 76ers coach refused to relay an accurate timeline of Embiid’s return, as most speculated he would miss a couple of games. But bookmakers and fans were sure he would be available for the postseason, and it is why his odds dropped from +750 to +1200 before he pulled a surprise and was declared part of the lineup.
He seemed to lack full-match fitness, but that did not stop the 76ers from finishing the game 123 – 104. The man of the match was James Harden, who was facing his former team at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. He recorded ten assists and 28 points and stood out in the game’s final minutes to confirm the team’s dominance by sinking a few 3-pointers.
It was a closely fought encounter, particularly in the fourth quarter after the 76ers seemed to run away with it. For the most part, the 76ers played like a team, as Tyrese Maxey managed five rebounds, six assists, and 26 points from the bench, while Harris Tobias scored 11 points.
Standout moments from the Houston Rockets were from the game’s top scorer Jalen Green who managed 29 points overall. He managed 15-for-17 points from the free throw line, 6 points from the field, and two 3-pointers.
His compatriot Kenyon Martin Jr. sank 15 much-needed points, while Jabari Smith Jr. managed 12 rebounds and scored 10 points. Alperen Sengun had 12 points as the Houston Rockets rallied late to try and steal the lead from the 76ers. One of the reasons was their poor shooting in the 3-point area, where they managed only 6 points (2 shots) from a possible 24 points (8 attempts).
Joel Embiid made quite a difference, having been an unexpected starter after his foot injury scare had most people rule him out of the game. He managed 23 points, making him the 4th highest scorer in the game, which is okay for a barely-match-fit player.
A relatively slow start to the game is part of what cost the Houston Rockets the chance to steal the game. By the third quarter, they trailed by 17 points, and with about 6 minutes remaining on the clock, Tyrese Maxey managed an impressive 3-pointer. But the 76ers extended their lead with fluid attacks to open a 19-point gap immediately.
The 76ers were solid defensively and swift in the attacking third, highlighted by Embiid’s and Harden’s chemistry. With 5 minutes left on the clock, the 76ers led with 110 points, while the Rockets could only muster 90 points.
Harden proved a thorn in their defence in the final quarter as he sank an impressive 3-pointer at this stage to further extend the gap. He further opened the gap by 26 points, and the Houston Rockets could not recover, losing out by 19 points at the final buzzer.
A lot was riding on this game for both teams, with the 76ers looking at the postseason while the Rockets were looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses. Joel Embiid’s team swept the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks in convincing victories. The Houston Rockets, on the other hand, were on a five-match losing streak.
While the Houston Rockets sit at the bottom of the Western Conference, the 76ers sit 3rd in the Eastern Conference.
The Philadelphia 76ers have been in sizzling form, closing out games, and they look sure to make it to the playoffs and even win the championship. Joel Embiid has phenomenal stats this season, which is why many fans and pundits back him as a finalist for the MVP.
He is shooting 35.8% from the 3-point range and 53.9% from the field, plus 4.0 assists and averaging 33.4 points while on the offensive. Defensively, he is a beast with staggering averages of 10.2 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and 1.1 steals. All these stats are per contest in the 43 games he has played so far this season out of the total 55 because of injury.
The 76ers are solid at home, and as long as Embiid stays fit, they are a force to reckon with.
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