Top Stories

Joel Embiid delivers unprecedented performance in win vs. Jazz

Philadelphia's star center follows up a 42-point performance with a 59-point, 11-rebound, 8-assist, 7-block showing against Utah.

On a record-setting night, Joel Embiid scores 26 of Philadelphia's 27 points in the 4th quarter to fuel the Sixers' win over the Jazz.

Joel Embiid has officially demolished all reasonable expectations.

The seventh-year veteran managed to top 101 points … in less than 24 hours, following up a 42-point performance on Saturday with a career-best 59-point, 11-rebound, eight-assist, seven-block showing on Sunday.

Leading the Sixers to a 105-98 victory, Embiid shot 19-for-28 from the field and 20-for-24 at the free throw line, becoming the first player to post at least a 50-10-5-5 line since blocks began being tracked in 1973-74.

Embiid managed to turn it up when everything mattered most, scoring an incredible 26 of the Sixers’ 27 fourth-quarter points, shooting 7-for-8 from the field and 12-for-15 at the line while adding five blocks in the fourth quarter alone. The Jazz, by comparison in the fourth, totaled 20 points and had zero blocks.

This becomes the fifth-highest scoring performance in 76ers history, slotting in behind Allen Iverson’s 60 points on Feb. 12, 2005. Wilt Chamberlain — who else? — holds the top three marks, with 68 (Dec. 16, 1967), 65 (Feb. 7, 1966) and 62 (March 3, 1966).

“Those are two legends that played here that I respect a lot and to be in that company means a lot,” Embiid said. “I still got a long ways to go.”

First drafted No. 3 overall in 2014, Embiid sat out two full seasons with various foot and back injuries before hitting the floor for the 2016-17 campaign, making the All-Rookie First Team in just 31 games.

“I’ve never seen a more dominating performance when you combine defense and offense,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said after the game.

Embiid’s 59-point game came on a day in which another player beat him in logging the first 50-point game of 2022-23: Cleveland’s Darius Garland. He finished with 51 points in a 129-124 home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The last time there were multiple 50-point performances in one day was April 9, 2021, when Zach LaVine the Chicago Bulls (53 points) and Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics (53 points) shared the honors.

With the Sixers up 101-98 and 1:19 left, Embiid blocked Collin Sexton’s driving layup and then came right down and hit a little jumper that sealed the victory.

Embiid shook off nagging injuries to post his breakthrough game of his seventh season on the second night of a home back-to-back. He made 19 of 28 shots from the floor, 20 of 24 free throws and kept the Sixers from folding against the upstart Jazz. Embiid even tossed in a steal and his plus-minus was a whopping plus-25 in 37 minutes.

His 101 points this weekend made him only the third player since 1988 to score 100-plus points on a back-to-back. He combined for 21 rebounds and 14 assists. And he’s done it all with James Harden still out with an injured foot.

Game Recap: 76ers 105, Jazz 98

Embiid was aware he was on the brink of hitting 60 points — he tossed up a turnaround 3-pointer in the final minute that wasn’t close (he missed 4 of 5 3s overall).

“I could have easily dribbled the ball and pulled up,” Embiid said, laughing.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.