Sun, 22 May 2022

'Unbelievable' Joel Embiid, Sixers host Clippers

Field Level Media
21 Jan 2022, 04:40 GMT+10

When Joel Embiid tied his career high with 50 points Wednesday night, by all accounts he could have had 75.

Embiid played just 27 minutes, after all, in one of the more dominant performances in recent memory as the Philadelphia 76ers posted a 123-110 win over the Orlando Magic. According to EliasSports Bureau, Embiid's 27 minutes on the court were the fewest played in a 50-point, 10-rebound game in the shot-clock era dating to 1954-55.

Embiid added 12 rebounds and three blocked shots while making 17 of 23 shots from the floor.

He will look to continue his dominance Friday night when the Sixers host the Los Angeles Clippers.

"He was just unbelievable from the start," Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought he tried to set a tone for us early. You know, he's just really good. Just dominant in every way. I mean, every shot was the right shot, right move, so it was great."

With Matisse Thybulle (shoulder), Danny Green (hip) and Shake Milton (back) all out with injuries, Embiid once again carried the Sixers. His statistics came within the flow of the offense, making the performance even more impressive.

"I thought even tonight I was getting to the free-throw line, but at the same time, I was still moving the ball," Embiid said. "It's all about playing the right way. The ball is always going to find me. You know, these guys have a lot of trust in me and you know they're always looking for me.

"Doesn't matter in any time of the game, the ball is always going to find me. So I should never have to worry about not getting enough shots."

The Clippers will look to rebound after sustaining a 130-128 overtime loss on the road against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

Ivica Zubac scored a career-high 32 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Reggie Jackson added 28 points and 12 assists, but the Clippers dropped the first game of an eight-game road trip.

It's the longest road trip any team in the league will make this season.

"I haven't had that much fun until before I came into the league," said Zubac, a sixth-year player who is averaging a career-best 9.7 points and 8.0 rebounds. "But unfortunately, we lost the game."

To be fair, the Clippers performed admirably without Marcus Morris Sr. (personal reasons) and Nicolas Batum (health and safety protocol). Paul George continues to be sidelined with an elbow injury, and Kawhi Leonard (ACL) has been out all season.

"It's catching up with us this year," Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said. "It's tough, but whatever. It is what it is."

Batum was missed after his season-best 32-point outburst in Monday's win over the Indiana Pacers.

"There is no moral victory," Jackson said. "But this just showed who we can be with our men down."

"We lost, but we can play with the best of them, no matter who's on the floor," Lue added. "Our guys battled. We fought."

The Clippers can take solace with the return of Luke Kennard for the first time since Dec. 31 (health and safety protocol). While Kennard scored only seven points on 2-of-9 shooting, he provided another much-needed scoring threat.

--Field Level Media

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