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Joel Embiid erupts for career-high 70 points, breaking 76ers franchise record in 133-123 win over Spurs

Reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid had a historic scoring night on Monday, becoming only the ninth player in league history to score 70+ points as the Philadelphia 76ers took down the San Antonio Spurs, 133-123.

Embiid posted a career-high in both points and rebounds as he erupted to produce a monster stat line, ending the game with 70 points, 18 rebounds and five assists.

The 29-year-old’s incredible scoring night broke the Sixers franchise record for points in a game, previously held by NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain with 68.

Embiid, who was 24-of-41 from the field and made 21 of his 23 free throws, praised his team for putting him in a position to make history.

“Feels good, credit to all these guys,” he said on court after the game. “Extremely unselfish people, like I said unselfish teammates. They just got me the ball and I was hot. They made sure that they put me in the best position. And credit to the coaching staff too.

“To be in the same conversation [as Chamberlain] is pretty cool,” he added after the game.

Embiid goes to the basket against the Spurs. - Matt Slocum/AP
Embiid goes to the basket against the Spurs. - Matt Slocum/AP

Embiid caught fire early, scoring 24 points in the first quarter alone and tied his previous career high of 59 after the third.

Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris chipped in with 18 and 14 points respectively, but mainly deferred to Embiid, who had over half his team’s points.

The center is currently on a remarkable scoring streak, having scored at least 30 points in the last 21 games he’s played and leading the league in scoring (36.1 points per game).

Scoring outbursts seemed to be contagious around the league on Monday, with the Minnesota TimberwolvesKarl-Anthony Towns dropping 62 points in a 128-125 loss against the Charlotte Hornets. It was the first time that two players scored at least 60 points on the same night since 1978.

Monday also marked the first on-court meeting between Embiid and the 2023 No. 1 overall draft pick, Victor Wembanyama.

The match-up was highly anticipated and did not disappoint. The French rookie phenom had an impressive game in his own right, posting 33 points and seven rebounds against the Sixers in the battle between the two seven-footers.

Future and present: Wembanyama and Embiid face off during the game. - Matt Slocum/AP
Future and present: Wembanyama and Embiid face off during the game. - Matt Slocum/AP

“He’s got all the talent in the world, he’s amazing,” Embiid said of ‘Wemby’ after the game. “He had a great game today, he has a bright future.”

Philadelphia has won six straight games and sits third in the Eastern Conference with a 29-13 record. The rebuilding Spurs meanwhile drop to 8-35 and remain rooted to the bottom of the West in a year of learning for Wembanyama and the rest of the San Antonio squad.

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