A historic look at Joel Embiid's unreal 59-point night


Every time you think you’ve seen it all from Joel Embiid, he shows you something that keeps you coming back. A performance that reinforces that he is one of the greatest two-way players, not just in Sixers history, but maybe that we’ve ever seen.

59 points. 11 rebounds. Eight assists. Seven blocked shots. No one in NBA history has reached those individual numbers in a single game. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg on this nights of nights for the Sixers’ All-World big man.

The Only Member of the 50/10/5/5 Club

The NBA introduced blocks as an official stat beginning with the 1973-1974 season. Embiid is the only player ever to snap off 50 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five blocks in a single game since then, nearly a half-century’s worth of games.

The Greatest Closer In Team History

Embiid closed out the game with 26 points in the fourth quarter. He broke the franchise record for fourth quarter points, nosing out Andrew Toney, who dropped 25 in the final stanza against the Celtics on March 21, 1982.

How Unreal Was The Stat Line?

Just take away his points, and concentrate on 11 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocks. That’s been done just a dozen times in the last 40 seasons. Among those 12 performances, the most points scored was 31, by David Robinson in 1994. Embiid had more points than that… before the fourth quarter even started!

The Player of the Game, By Quite a Bit

We mentioned JoJo’s 26 fourth quarter points. He had more points in the final 12 minutes than any other player for either team had in the entire game. Embiid’s teammate Tyrese Maxey and Utah’s Malik Beasley were the next best with 18 points apiece.

In Very Good Company

Embiid’s 59 points are good enough for fifth-best by a 76ers player all-time, and the most since Allen Iverson dropped 60 on the Magic In February of 2005. In fact, Embiid is the only 76ers player not named Iverson or Wilt Chamberlain to score more than 54 points in a game in Sixers franchise history.

One Man Gang

Embiid’s 26 points in the final quarter outscored the entire Jazz team 26-to-20. The last time a 76ers player outscored a team by himself in the fourth? Guess who? Embiid himself, who outscored the Hawks 22-to-20 on February 24, 2020, in a 129-112 win.

Something In Common

Embiid’s huge night came just 24 hours after a 42/10/6 night in the team’s win over the Hawks. He’s the first player to drop 40/10/5 on back-to-back nights since… his current teammate James Harden, who did so with the Rockets on March 17-18 of 2017.

Sure Shot

He dropped 59 while shooting 19-for-28 (67.9%) from the floor and 20-for-24 (83.3) from the line. The last players to score 59 or more with 67% FG and 83% FT or better:

  • Anthony Davis, 59/70.6/90.0, 2/21/2016 vs Pistons
  • Tom Chambers, 60/68.8/88.9, 3/24/1990 vs Sonics
  • Michael Jordan, 59/77.8/89.5, 4/3/1988 vs Pistons
  • Purvis Short, 59/71.4/93.8, 11/17/1984 vs Nets

This last bit makes everything you’ve already read that much more amazing. He did everything he did against the Jazz in less than 37 minutes of playing time. He sat nearly an entire quarter! Most NBA players need a week’s worth of games to put up the kind of numbers Embiid put up Sunday night, and he did it in 36 minutes, 41 seconds.

Absolutely astounding.

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