Joel Embiid did a whole lot of everything during the 76ers’ 115-109 win Wednesday night against the Lakers in Los Angeles, a fact reflected in his nutso stat line: 46 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 7 blocks. The last NBA player to put up at least 40 points, 7 assists and 7 blocks in a single game: Julius Erving in 1982. The last NBA player to put up at least 40 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 blocks: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and it took him four overtimes to do it in 1980.
There were traditional post-up moves!
If there was an exciting clip of Embiid shooting free throws, I’d put that in here, too: He made 16 of 19, plus 2 of 3 from three-point range. And now the Sixers’ much-mocked “Process” — in which the team tanked to acquire players such as Embiid and point guard Ben Simmons through the draft — has become something else entirely.
“He’s a problem,” Lakers Coach Luke Walton told ESPN afterward. “Embiid is a handful down there and obviously if you get a nice whistle it makes it even more challenging. He is a heckuva shooter … we tried a couple of different things but you got to tip your hat, he’s hitting pull-up 18-footers, they used him as a post-pass man to enter the ball from the post and he is relocating to the strong side corner and hitting 3’s.
Simmons finished on the cusp of a triple-double with 18 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds, joking afterward that Embiid “took one of my rebounds.”
Speaking of draft picks, the Lakers’ highly touted selection from this past summer, Lonzo Ball, had one of his worst games as a professional with just two points on 1-of-9 shooting, five rebounds and two assists in 21 minutes (he was benched in the fourth quarter for the second straight game). Afterward, Embiid took a subtle Instagram dig at Lonzo’s loudmouthed father, LaVar, who was not in attendance. Check out both the photo, which shows Embiid looming over the younger ball, and the location:
“It feels great. I love L.A. I love the Staples Center, so I wanted to come out here and put on a show and I did,” Embiid said. “Too bad there wasn’t any trash-talker out there. But I still had fun and I got going. I just wanted to be aggressive. That’s my new mentality. I can’t wait to keep the same momentum.”
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