There would be no runner-up finish for Joel Embiid this time around. After coming in second place in MVP voting in each of the two previous seasons, the Philadelphia 76ers center finally broke through to win the award for the first time after leading the league in scoring for the second straight year on a career-best 33.1 points per game. The six-time All-Star also posted 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting a career-high 54.8 percent and logging 34.6 minutes per night — the most of his seven seasons. Embiid became the fifth player in franchise history to win MVP and first since 2001, leading the 76ers to 54 victories, also the franchise’s highest total since 2001. The 7-footer from Cameroon was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month in both December and January and has now earned that honor six times in his career, the most for any player in franchise history. On November 13, Embiid posted a career-high 59 points while also mixing in 11 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocks to become the first player in NBA history with 50 points, 10 boards, five assists and five blocks in the same game. On April 4, Embiid torched the Boston Celtics for 52 points, 13 rebounds and six assists on 20 of 25 shooting, just the second player in league history to record a 50-10-5 game while shooting 80 percent or better. Embiid logged nine straight games of at least 30 points, most in franchise history.
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