Embiid captures a rebound in the Sixers-Bulls game. Mitchell Leff / AF
P Joel Embiid and Jamal Murray stepped into the territory of historic scoring excellence. Both added 50 points, the best mark of their careers. Embiid, the 26-year-old center from Cameroon and in his fifth season in the League, led the Philadelphia Sixers victory against the Chicago Bulls (112-105); and Murray, the 23-year-old Canadian forward and in his fifth NBA season, the Denver Nuggets in Cleveland (103-120).
Embiid equaled Wilt Chamberlain as the only one in Sixers history to add at least 50 points, 15 rebounds (17 in his case) and 5 assists in a game. He had 15 points from the free throw line and made a triple. No Sixers player had 50 points since Allen Iverson in December 2005. Embiid's best record so far was 49 points in a game against Atlanta in February 2020.
“One day I'll tell my kids that I played with Joel Embiid, ”said Sixers forward Joe Harris, scoring 22 points against the Cavaliers. “When they ask me which is the best player I've played with, I'll tell them it's Embiid. It is an honor to play alongside him ”. The Sixers couldn't count on Ben Simmons, sick.
"I feel like the game has slowed down for me," Embiid responded when asked why he's been so dominant in a season averaging 30.5 points, the most of his career, 11 rebounds and 3.5 assists. “I am willing to dominate every minute that I am on the court. Last year, I was going through a difficult time. It is not about training, but about the fact that I am willing to give my best every game in defense and attack. ”
Murray was very efficient against the Cavaliers with 21 baskets on 25 shots (84%), including 8 of 10 on 3s. That 84% is the second-highest shooting percentage in a 50-point performance, surpassed only by the 87% Wilt Chamberlain got in a game in which he scored 53 points in 1967. Murray scored 10 two-point baskets and 10 triples, something that only Harden, Beal, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant had achieved. Murray is the first player in NBA history to score 50 points without taking a free throw. Hakeem Olajuwon and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shared the record with 48 points each without taking free throws. Murray had scored 50 points twice in the playoffs last season. His best mark in the regular season was 48 points in a game of the 2018-2019 season. The victory of the Nuggets in Cleveland also had other protagonists, with a triple-double from Jokic, 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, 22 points from Porter and 10 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists from Campazzo.
Willy Hernangómez, starter
New Orleans lost to Phoenix (114-132) in Willy Hernangómez's first game as a starter this season. The Spanish pivot played from the beginning due to the absence of Steven Adams and added 9 points and 13 rebounds. Ingram, with 25 points, and Zion Williamson, with 23, were the best of the Pelicans. The Suns won with 23 points from Booker, 20 from Crowder, 17 from Kaminsky and 16 from Ayton.