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Joel Embiid ties career-high with 50 points to power Sixers over Magic

50 points in 27 minutes. Pretty, pretty, good, Joel.

Orlando Magic v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Coming off a poor loss for Philadelphia to the Wizards on Monday afternoon, Joel Embiid looked determined early on to ensure there was not a repeat effort back at the Wells Fargo Center tonight. The big man made a prolonged bid to outscore all other players from both teams combined for a good chunk of this first quarter. He eventually settled with a lofty 20 first-quarter points as the Sixers led 25-21 after the opening frame.

Strangely, though, Joel would not be the most impactful seven-footer in the game’s first half. Embiid slowed off his Kobe-dropping-81 pace, and it became the Mo Bamba show. The Magic center caught fire like never before, hitting a lucky number seven three-pointers in the first half. His career-high coming into the game was 22 points; he entered halftime tonight with 28 points, as Orlando ended the second quarter on a 14-3 run to lead 57-47.

The Sixers showed some backbone, however, beginning the second half on a 17-6 run to retake the lead. Embiid shifted back into destroyer of worlds mode, even topping his exploits in the first quarter with 23 more points in the quarter, highlighted by an unstoppable fadeaway jumper over the outstretched arm of the gigantic Robin Lopez.

He also found Furkan Korkmaz and Tobias Harris with a couple beautiful feeds under the basket. Watch Joel whip the ball around like a champion Jai alai player.

Here was Joel’s final shot of the quarter, because why not, it’s gorgeous to behold:

Embiid had 47 points heading into the fourth quarter, as the Sixers scored 47 points as a team in the third quarter to lead 94-80.

The unit of Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, and bench did an excellent job to push the lead to 24 points before Doc Rivers sent Embiid back in the game with over seven minutes remaining, ostensibly to match or surpass his previous career-high of 50 points. Joel almost immediately earned a pair of trips to the free throw line, making three of four attempts to tie his career-high and take a seat. The second foul even fouled Mo Bamba out of the game, who finished with 32 points.

Final line for Joel Embiid: 50 points in 27 minutes, 17-of-23 from the field, 15-of-17 from the foul line, 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal, three blocks, two turnovers, and countless hearts and minds won across the Delaware Valley.

As the game wound down, the only notable happening was what looked like could be a bad knee injury for Orlando’s R.J. Hampton. Tobias Harris finished his night with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting (revenge game!), and Tyrese Maxey chipped in with 14 points.

But it was Joel’s night, simply one of the most efficient and surgically precise performances of his already extraordinary career. Tonight was why you tune into a mid-January game against an uninspiring Magic opponent. You won’t remember a 123-110 win in the midst of a long regular season, but you might always remember when Joel Embiid scored 50 points in 27 minutes and looked like he could do whatever he wanted on a basketball court.

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