MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 25: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first quarter of the game at Target Center on February 25, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 76ers defeated the Timberwolves 133-102.

By Dylan MacKinnon

Joel Embiid did it all for the Sixers tonight. 44pts, 17 rebounds, and 5 blocks. He was +16 when on the court tonight. Embiid carried the Sixers to a 112-108 win, to complete the season sweep of the Cavaliers. It is the 11th time this season that he finished a game with at least 40pts and 10rebs. Since the merger, only two other players have accomplished that feat. Russell Westbrook, who did it 12 times in the 2016-2017 season. And Moses Malone, who also did it 12 times in the 1981-82 season. Both of them won MVP those years.

It was the 3rd quarter where Embiid really took over. He scored 13, including two 3pters. Embiid played the entire quarter to help the Sixers turn a 6pt deficit into a 1pt lead. By the end of the 3rd, the Sixers were +12 with him on the court, and -11 with him off. Maxey also came to life in the 3rd quarter, scoring 8 after missing the entire 2nd quarter. But outside of Maxey, it felt like Embiid was doing nearly everything.

The game was tied when Embiid came back 4 minutes into the 4th quarter. He proceeded to score 14 more points over the next 8 minutes, including the final FT to put the Sixers up 4 and seal the win. At one point he had 12 of the Sixers’ 20 pts in the quarter despite sitting for the first 4 minutes of it. When he wasn’t scoring, he was playing tremendous defense, adding another block to his stat line, and making it difficult for the Cavs on other possessions.

But Matisse Thybulle also deserves a lot of credit. He may have only scored 4 points, but when the game was on the line he stepped up his defense. The Cavs had the ball down 3 with 7 seconds left. That was when Thybulle did this.

It is the 48th win of the season. With the Bucks losing earlier today, they move into a temporary tie with them. However, the Bucks do have the tie breaker, so the Sixers will need to move ahead of them to claim the 3 seed. They have just four games left to improve their place in the standings. On Tuesday they travel to Indy to face the Pacers. Then on Thursday they head to Toronto to play the Raptors. Finally they return home for the weekend to play back to back games vs the Pacers and Pistons to close out the season.

We do not know where Embiid stands as far as the League MVP is concerned. If you believe the national narrative, he has fallen behind in the race. But it is crystal clear who the team MVP is. Tonight he carried the Sixers to this win. All that is left is for him to keep doing so these final 4 games and put his team in the best position for the playoffs.