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Sixers 115, Lakers 109: Joel Embiid is King of LA

Joel Embiid scored 46, Ben Simmons flirted with a triple-double, T.J. McConnell low-fived Kevin Hart... last night was just your typical 115-109 victory for the Philadelphia 76ers.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

DEAR GOD. JOEL HANS EMBIID IS A BONA FIDE SUPERSTAR.

THE STATS:

Joel Embiid scored 46 points on 19 shots, had 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 7 blocked shots, only 2 turnovers, and was a +19 on the night.

I mean. He took 19 shots! Nineteen!! Since the NBA started tracking blocked shots, Embiid is the only player ever to put up a line like that. With 7 minutes left, when he had “only” scored 36 points, the only two other players to put up a statline like his were Hakeem Olajuwon and Anthony Davis. Both of them had required over 50 minutes and at least 28 shots to do so; Embiid had achieved his (then) line in 27 minutes and on 16 shots.

It’s not just the sheer numbers either. The highlights were out of this world. Have you seen a 7’2 center Eurostep before? YOU HAVE NOW:

Do you want impeccable footwork and three up and unders? No problem!

Spin moves to the baseline? Sure!

Perfect touch passes for open teammate dunks?

Embiid did everything and was everywhere. He walled off the paint on one end, forcing the Lakers into missed shot after missed shot. (In related news, the Lakers did not shoot well tonight!) He dominated the game on offense, creating shots for himself and for his teammates. He’s the whole deal and it’s incredible. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a basketball player. And he’s OURS. We get him for the entire meat of his career. The Sixers locked him down to a contract extension and he’s worth every penny of it.

46. 15. 7. 7.

What a game.

Other thoughts:

  • Players other than Embiid were in the game! Ben Simmons nearly had a triple double! Can you believe that? I didn’t even get to mention it because, like, Embiid is so ridiculously good at everything that an 18-9-10 night with 5 steals and only 1 turnover barely merits a mention. Ben was really good too. Our two superstars won us this game.
  • The role players though… yikes. They were awful. J.J. Redick had by far his worst night as a Sixer, shooting 0-8 from deep including 4 backbreaking misses late in the game (3 wide open corner 3’s and an ill-advised 30-footer that was blocked by Ingram with the Sixers clinging to a 6 point lead). RoCo started decently and hit the 3 to seal the game, but he struggled as well. TLC and Dario combined to shoot 2-13 from deep. It was tough sledding.
  • Brandon Ingram had the best game of his career. Not an exaggeration. It was literally his best game ever.
  • Brook Lopez gets demolished by Embiid every time they matchup, so Walton was forced to cover JoJo with Randle. It did not go well for Julius. Bogut was the only Lakers center who saw a modicum of success matching up with JoJo.
  • Lonzo Ball was hot garbage tonight. Sixers players went directly at him when he guarded them; he couldn’t penetrate and didn’t set up his teammates; the Lakers didn’t run out for any of his patented outlets; and he shot 1-9. Walton benched him to end the game.
  • Kuzma looked really good. I’ve ragged on the Twittersphere’s obsession with him, but he was a ton of fun.
  • The macro story of the game came down to turnovers, missed jumpers, and free throws (read: Embiid) for the Sixers, and offensive rebounding for the Lakers. This game shouldn’t have been close, but the Lakers took 23 more field goal attempts than the Sixers. An extra quarters’-worth of shots will even the playing field a bit.

Sixers move to 8-6 on the season and finish the road trip 3-2.

“We’ll all know,” guys. We’ll all fucking know.

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