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Sixers’ Joel Embiid overpowers Nikola Vucevic, goes for the slam

Joel Embiid, Sixers, Nikola Vucevic, Magic

Every win counts for the Philadelphia 76ers. Late in the season, they are trying to remain in third place in the East. Joel Embiid wants to keep them there.

On Monday night, Embiid proved he knows how important each game is for the Sixers. Early in Philadelphia’s game against the Orlando Magic, he showed his strength and pulled off an absurd slam. Via NBA TV on Twitter:

The play began when he recovered teammate T.J. McConnell’s missed shot. Then, some good defense by Orlando center Nikola Vucevic forced Embiid to miss his putback, but he grabbed his own rebound. After dribbling out, he returned to the hoop and overpowered Vucevic, making his slam dunk look effortless.

Vucevic, an All-Star this season, is a very good player. Embiid might be even better. The third-year center has been one of the league’s top big men, averaging 27.5 points, 13.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 48.3 percent. This success earned him his second straight All-Star nod.

The third overall pick in 2014 out of the University of Kansas, Embiid has been a staple for Philadelphia since day one. Earlier this season, the Sixers secured the 25-year-old in a five-year deal worth almost $148 million, according to Spotrac.

However, Embiid’s highlight-reel play wasn’t enough for Philadelphia on Monday night. The 76ers ultimately fell to the Magic by a score of 119-98. This leaves Indiana only a game and a half back in the race for the Eastern Conference’s third seed. The Sixers will try to bounce back on Thursday at home against the Brooklyn Nets.