The Philadelphia 76ers struggled to a hit-and miss start. It was clear that Joel Embiid needed to shine.
Embiid played the best game of the season Sunday night, scoring a career high 59 points to help the 76ers defeat the Utah Jazz, 105-98.
It was the highest point total of the season The N.B.A. surpassed the 51 points Darius Garland, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, had scored an hour earlier. Last season’s best games were 60-point efforts By Kyrie Irving of Nets and Karl Anthony Towns from the Timberwolves
And Embiid’s game actually could have been a little better: He shot only 1 of 5 on 3-pointers. He may have missed a few points with his career 3-point percentage of.334.
He shot 19 for 28 from all angles: six baskets from low, five further out in the paint, five from the wings and five from the key. Plus, he made one 3-pointer.
And Embiid didn’t just score. He had 11 rebounds, seven blocks and perhaps the most impressive feat of all was getting eight assists in a night where his teammates made only 21 baskets.
Since the N.B.A. Blocks were first counted in the N.B.A. early 1970sHe is. the first player He was able to score at least 50 points, 10 boards, 5 blocks, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds in a single game. He did it in 37 minutes.
The closest player What are those numbers? Probably Embiid in 2020-21 season, when he first came up a block short Chicago: 50 points, 17 rebound, 5 assists, and 4 blocks. Anthony Davis barely missed In 2016-17, he played for the Pelicans and recorded 50 points and 15 rebounds as well as 5 assists and 4 blocked shots against Denver. He also had five steals.
Embiid’s impressive stat line came even though the Jazz defense concentrated on him: Fouled frequently, he shot 24 free throws and made 20 of them.
“I missed too many free throws,” Embiid said with a laugh After the game.
Only one Sixer has attempted a free throw. Danuel Home Jr. did 1 of 2.
Basketball Reference gave Embiid’s effort a Game Score of 54.4It was the eighth-most productive N.B.A. game that dates back to 1980s. No. 1 is Michael Jordan’s 69-pointer for Chicago against Cleveland in 1989-90, which gets a game score of 64.6. Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game for the Lakers against the Raptors in 2005-6 ranks second.
Embiid’s 59 points is the fifth-highest total in franchise history behind 68-, 65- and 62-point games from Wilt Chamberlain and a 60-pointer from Allen Iverson. (Chamberlain’s 100-point game, not to mention five 70-pointers, came with the Warriors when they were in Philadelphia and San Francisco.)
Embiid scored at least 40 points on 28 occasions during his career. He had a 50-point season in both of the previous seasons. He found 59 to be a new milestone.
This was the second game in a series of home games for the Sixers. Embiid had scored 42 against Atlanta Hawks, but showed no signs of fatigue.
“Joel Embiid is very good at basketball,” understated his teammate Tyrese Maxey, who had the team’s second-highest point total against the Jazz, a comparatively paltry 18.
The Sixers were expected to contend in the title race, but they are currently just 7-7. Embiid is out of four games because of a sore leg and the flu. James Harden has missed five games with a strained tendon.
The Jazz’s Sunday night victims were the worst-affected team this season. As part of what appeared a complete teardown, Rudy Gobert, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Donovan Mitchell were all ejected from the team in the off-season. The team did not recognize the other unheralded players like Mike Conley and Lauri Markkanen, who posted a surprising record of 10-4.
Until they ran into Embiid.