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Joel Embiid.

Joel Embiid believes the win over the Knicks signals the Sixers' improvement this season

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The Philadelphia 76ers snapped a five-game losing streak by securing an impressive win over the New York Knicks on Christmas Day. 

The Sixers went into a sell-out Madison Square Garden and came away with a 105-98 win in an exciting encounter that went down to the wire. 

Joel Embiid's presence on the court was a major factor for their victory as he once again carried the team on both ends of the floor. 

The center posted 25 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and three blocks to end Philly's losing skid, the majority of which came as a result of him being absent with a back injury. 

As well as stopping a horrible slump, Embiid believes the win had even more significance for the Sixers because of the occasion and what it meant for the franchise. 

"After what we've been through the past four years, I was so excited [today] because we've been through so much losing," Embiid said, per ESPN's Ian Begley. ".... To be able to be one of the few teams in the league to play on this day -- it just shows you how much we've improved."

It was the 23-year-old's first appearance at MSG and like all the great players, he thrived under the bright lights and produced a terrific display. 

"That was my first time playing in the Garden, and when I go on the road I love putting on a show," said Embiid. "I felt like we had a lot of fun tonight. We can play much better than that, but we got the win."

'The Process' had a fun battle with opposing center Enes Kanter - who put up a huge 31 points and 22 rebounds - and the two even enjoyed some trash talking during the game as they went at each other all night. 

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks

The Knicks big man showed respect for the 76ers star after the game, though, and believes he has a great future ahead of him.

"[Embiid is at] an All-Star level, and I think he's doing a really good job," said Kanter. "I think if he stays healthy, he's going to be one of the best big men in the league."

His impact on Philadelphia is evident as he's the team's best scorer and defender and makes such a huge difference when he's on the floor. 

Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Clippers

The Cameroonian is averaging 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game for the 15-18 Sixers who have dropped out of the playoff positions since Embiid's been out. 

The 76ers are certainly moving in the right direction but it's clear that their success is largely based on the health of their superstar big man.

Topics:
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid
Allen Iverson

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