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'Determined' Joel Embiid torches Magic for 50, 76ers win

'Determined' Joel Embiid torches Magic for 50, 76ers win
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (C) scored 20 points in the first quarter and 23 points in the third quarter of a win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday in Philadelphia. Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

Jan. 20 (UPI) -- NBA MVP candidate Joel Embiid tied his career-high with 50 points and pulled down a dozen rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 123-110 win over the Orlando Magic.

Embiid made 17 of 23 shots and 15 free throws in just 27 minutes in the victory Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. He pushed his 2021-22 per game average to 28 points for the 76ers, winners in 10 of their last 12 games.

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"That was easy, quick, efficient and determined,'' Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers told reporters, when asked about Embiid's performance. ''He's a little bit of [Hakeem] Olajuwon and a little bit of [Kevin] Garnett."

"It's a heck of a combination if you can get it. But the difference is he can go out to the 3-point line. He's Joel Embiid. He's not any of those guys. He's his own guy," Rivers said.

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The 76ers totaled 50 points in the paint, 13 points off fast breaks and led by as many as 27 points. The game featured 15 lead changes and was tied five times.

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"I'm trying to play at the best level possible I can, and that's being the best player in the world,'' Embiid said.

Magic center Mo Bamba made a tip shot for a 2-0 Magic lead 49 seconds into the game. Embiid answered by scoring the 76ers' first nine points. He totaled 20 of his team's 25 points through the first 12 minutes to help the 76ers take a 25-21 lead into the second quarter.

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Bamba exploded for 20 in the second, helping the Magic outscore the 76ers 36-22 in the frame. The Magic led 57-47 at the break.

Embiid got hot again in the third, with 23 points in the quarter, to help the 76ers take a 94-80 lead into the fourth. The 76ers never trailed again.

76ers forward Tobias Harris made 8 of 13 shots and totaled 21 points in the win. Guard Tyrese Maxey chipped in 14 points.

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Bamba scored 32 points on 12 of 15 shooting in the loss. Chuma Okeke totaled 18 points off the Magic bench. Magic guards Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony totaled 14 and 13 points, respectively.

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The 76ers (26-18) host the Los Angeles Clippers (22-24) at 7 p.m. EST Friday at the Wells Fargo Center. The Magic (8-38) host the Los Angeles Lakers (22-23) at 7 p.m. Friday at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.

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