Embiid Hits Career-High 50 in 76ers' Win
The 76ers (20-10) notched their 20th win of the season Friday as Joel Embiid scored his first career 50-piece, as the team topped the Chicago Bulls (12-16), 112-105.
Embiid’s career-high 50th point, fittingly, came at the line - where he leads the NBA in free throws attempted (11.3) and free throws made (9.7) per game.
In the absence of two of the Sixers’ four leading scorers [Ben Simmons (illness) and Shake Milton (ankle sprain)], the other members of that group, Embiid and Tobias Harris, came up big.
“Those two guys put us on their backs tonight,” Doc Rivers said.
Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 30 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
Rivers also earned an accolade Friday. As the Sixers strengthened their hold on the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, he was officially named head coach of Team Durant for the 2021 All-Star Game.
Embiid finished with a career-high 50 points, plus 17 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and four blocks. Embiid shot 17-for-26 from the field and 15-for-17 from the foul line.
Harris scored a 22-point, 12-rebound double-double, plus seven assists. He shot 9-for-12 from the field and 3-for-4 from the line.
Postgame, Rivers said nights like tonight make Harris an All-Star:
“He did everything that winners do.”
Stepping into the starting lineup in Simmons’ absence for the second straight game, defensive ace Thybulle had three blocks and a steal, plus two points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Rivers said Thybulle’s stat line doesn’t tell the whole story - crediting Thybulle’s defense on LaVine as the reason the team wasn’t forced to double team the Bull:
“Matisse was like the secret sauce tonight. He was so huge defensively.”
Quote to Note:
Postgame, Harris reflected on witnessing greatness.
“It’s an honor really...
I’ll tell my kids one day that I was playing with Joel Embiid. When they ask who’s the best player I ever played with, I’ll say Joel Embiid."
— Lauren Rosen (@LaurenMRosen) February 20, 2021
The Sixers are headed to Tampa, to face the Toronto Raptors (14-15) for two games in a row.
Prior to their Friday night meeting with the Timberwolves, the Raptors had won four of their last six.
Pascal Siakam leads the Raptors in both scoring (20.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.7 rpg) this season. Fred VanVleet is having the best season of his career, averaging a career-highs in scoring (20.3 ppg), rebounding (4.2 rpg) and sharing (6.7 apg).
The first of the two meetings between the teams tips Sunday at 7:00 p.m. ET.