Thursday, June 13 2024

Joel Embiid sized up Victor Wembanyama before his first game against the star San Antonio Spurs rookie.

He then delivered a welcome-to-the-NBA moment for the ages courtesy of the reigning league MVP.

Embiid dominated the paint on a historic Monday night while leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 133-123 win. He posted a career-high 70 points, 18 rebounds and five assists while overwhelming whatever defense the Spurs dispatched.

Historic night for Embiid, NBA

Embiid’s scoring mark set a new 76ers team record, passing Wilt Chamberlain in the process. He did so while shooting 24 of 41 from the field and 21 of 23 from the free throw line. He needed just one made 3-pointer on two attempts to reach the historic tally.

Embiid’s big game arrived on the same night Karl-Anthony Towns scored 62 points in a Minnesota Timberwolves loss to the Charlotte Hornets. It marked the fourth time in NBA history that two players scored 60-plus points on the same day and the first since 1978.

Whether it was Wembanyama, backup Zach Collins or whatever double- or triple-team the Spurs desperately threw at him, San Antonio had no answers for Embiid’s bully ball. The 76ers All-Star set the tone in the first half while posting 34 points and 10 rebounds, toying with his defenders in the post.

Embiid keeps foot on gas after halftime

Embiid somehow picked up the pace in the third quarter, where he secured his eighth-career 50-point game with more than four minutes remaining. When the quarter was over, Embiid had matched a career-high 59 points alongside 15 rebounds before taking a break on the bench.

Joel Embiid made history Monday night. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)Joel Embiid made history Monday night. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Joel Embiid made history Monday night. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

There was no slowing down in the fourth quarter. The Spurs kept within striking distance, and Embiid re-entered the game with 6:38 remaining and Philadelphia leading, 118-104. He kept going from inside and out with his 65th point of the night on a pull-up jumper passing the NBA’s previous season high of 64 from Giannis Antetokounmpo.

He tied Chamberlain’s team record of 68 points with a free throw with 1:57 remaining. He then claimed the record as his own with a coast-to-coast layup for his 70th point with 1:41 remaining.

The 76ers then called time out to allow Embiid to leave the game and soak in the moment to a standing ovation.

With the historic effort, Embiid becomes the ninth player in NBA history to score 70 points or more in a single game. He did so on the 18th anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s career-high 81-point performance.

Welcome-to-the-NBA moment for Wembanyama

Somehow, through all this, Wembanyama had an impressive game of his own. On offense, at least. He tallied 33 points and seven rebounds to pace the Spurs. He was just no match on defense for Embiid, who leveraged his 7-foot, 280 pound frame to outmuscle his 7-4, 209-pound counterpart.

Embiid set the tone before tip with a walk-by and gentle bump of Wembanyama during pregame warmups. Like pretty much everyone else, even Embiid was impressed by with the physical stature of his opponent.

But he got straight to business with 24 points in the first quarter en route to making history.

Embiid, MVP favorite?

Embiid’s entangled in yet another MVP race alongside co-favorite Nikola Jokić of the Denver Nuggets. The pair have combined to win the league’s last three MVP trophies. Embiid’s monster effort on Monday on the heels of a scorching streak likely gives him the edge as the NBA passes the midpoint of the regular season.

Monday’s was Embiid’s second big effort against a fellow star big man in four games. Last Wednesday, he posted 41 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds while outdueling Jokić in a 126-121 win over the Nuggets. Monday also marked Embiid’s 21st straight game with 30 points or more.

It’s been a remarkable span for one of the game’s most dominant players. But nothing before from Embiid has come close to his historic effort Monday night.

Source: Yahoo Sports


Joel Embiid scores franchise-record 70, torching Wemby, Spurs


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