Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid scores 70 points: 10 mind-blowing stats from a career-high night

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Whenever you can break a record held by Wilt Chamberlain, it’s been a pretty good day.

Joel Embiid scored 70 points Monday night in the 76ers’ 133-123 win over the Spurs at the Wells Fargo Center, breaking the franchise scoring record of 68 set by Chamberlain in a 143-123 win over the Bulls at Chicago Stadium on Dec. 16, 1967.

Embiid’s previous career high was 58 points in a 105-98 win over the Jazz on Nov. 13, 2022, also at the Wells Fargo Center. He broke Chamberlain’s record late in the third quarter on a 27-foot 3-pointer.

The most points previously scored by a 76er at home was Chamberlain’s 65 in a 132-125 win over the Lakers at Convention Hall in West Philadelphia on Feb. 7, 1966.

Embiid scored 24 points in the first quarter, 10 in the second, 25 in the third and 11 in the fourth. 

He’s the ninth player in NBA history to score 70 points with the 14th 70-point game.

Let’s take a look at 10 insane stats from one of the most remarkable performances in NBA history:

1. Embiid scored 70 points in 36:38 minutes, the fewest minutes ever by a 70-point scorer. The previous low was 39:11 by Damian Lillard when he scored 71 this past February for the Trail Blazers against the Rockets. Nobody else has scored 70 in fewer than 42 minutes. The most points previously scored in under 37 minutes was 63 by George Gervin of the Spurs, who played just 33 minutes in a 153-132 loss to the Jazz on April 9, 1978, at the Superdome (they didn’t track seconds back then).

2. Embiid is the third player with at least 18 rebounds in a 70-point game. Chamberlain had 43 rebounds in a 78-point triple-OT loss to the Philadelphia Warriors at Convention Hall in West Philadelphia in December 1961, 36 boards in an overtime win over the Chicago Packers in March 1963 and 25 in his legendary 100-point game in a win over the Knicks in Hershey, Pa. The only player other than Chamberlain and Embiid with 18 rebounds and 70 points in a game was Elgin Baylor, who had 71 and 25 for the Lakers in a 123-108 win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden in 1960. Embiid is the first player with 70 and 18 since March 10, 1963 – nearly 61 years ago – when Chamberlain had 70 and 18 for the San Francisco Warriors (who had been the Philadelphia Warriors) against the Syracuse Nationals (who would become the Philadelphia 76ers) in a 163-148 Nationals win at the Onondaga War Memorial in Syracuse.

3. Embiid’s 70 points are a 76ers record but only the 3rd-most points ever scored by a Philadelphia pro player in Philadelphia. Chamberlain’s 100-point game for the Philadelphia Warriors in 1962 was in Hershey, but he scored 78 in 1961 in a 151-147 triple-overtime loss to the Lakers and 73 for the Warriors in a 135-117 win in 1962 over the Chicago Packers (now the Washington Wizards), both at the old Convention Hall down the block from Franklin Field. 

4. As you probably already know, Embiid is the first player ever with 70 points, 18 rebounds and five assists in a game. How close did other guys come to hitting those benchmarks? The most rebounds by a player with 70 points and five assists: David Robinson of the Spurs had 71 points, 14 rebounds and five assists in a 112-97 win over the Clippers in 1994 at L.A. Memorial Sports Arena. The most points by a player with 18 rebounds and five assists: Michael Jordan had 69 points, 18 rebounds and six assists for the Bulls in a 117-113 overtime win over the Cavs in 1990 at Richfield Coliseum. The most assists by a player with 70 points and 18 rebounds: Wilt had 70 points, 18 rebounds and three assists in that 163-148 loss to the Nationals in 1963.

5. Embiid made 21 of 23 foul shots Monday night for 91 percent. That’s the 3rd-highest foul shooting percentage ever in a 70-point game, behind Damian Lillard’s 100 percent (14-for-14) in the Trailblazers’ 131-114 win over the Rockets in 2023 at Moda Center and Devin Booker’s 92 percent (24-for-26) in the Suns’ loss to the Celtics at TD Garden in 2017. Embiid's 21 free throws are 3rd-most ever in a 70-point game, behind Chamberlain’s 28 in the 100-point game in Hershey and Booker’s 24 against the Celtics.

6. Embiid – 53 days shy of his 30th birthday – is the 2nd-oldest player ever with a 70-point game. Lillard was 32 years, 226 days when he scored 71 points against the Rockets. The next-oldest player with a 70-point game is Robinson, who was 28 years, 261 days, when he scored 71 against the Clippers. The youngest ever with a 70-point game is Booker, who was 20 years, 145 days, when he scored 70 against the Celtics in 2017. 

7. The Spurs game was also Embiid’s 21st in a row with at least 30 points, the 5th-longest streak in NBA history behind Chamberlain with the Warriors in 1961-62 (65), James Harden with the Rockets in 2018-19 (32), Chamberlain spanning 1961-62 with the Philly Warriors and 1962-63 with the San Francisco Warriors (31) and Chamberlain with the Philly Warriors (25 in 1960-61).

8. Embiid is now averaging 36.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game this year. No player in NBA history has ever had those averages over a full season. The only other player over 35 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists per game in any full season is Chamberlain in 1963-64 with San Francisco – 36.9 points, 22.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. The only players to average 36 points per game in a season are Chamberlain five times, Jordan once, Baylor once and Harden once. 

9. The game was Embiid’s eighth with 50 points and 10 rebounds. The only players in NBA history with more are Chamberlain (122), Baylor (17) and Giannis (9). Embiid has had five games with 50 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, tied with Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for 4th-most in history, behind Wilt (25), Baylor (9) and Harden (6).

10. Among the players who’ve never had a 70-point game: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, John Havlicek, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, Hakeem Olajuwon and Oscar Robertson – who are all among the top 20 scorers in NBA history.

Bonus Stat: At the Target Center in Minneapolis Monday night, Karl-Anthony Towns of the Timberwolves scored 62 points in a 128-125 loss to the Hornets. It was the first time in 46 years two players scored 60 or more points on the same day. On April 9, 1978, the same day Gervin scored 63 against the Jazz, David Thompson scored 73 in the Nuggets’ 139-137 loss to the Pistons at Cobo Arena in Detroit. 

Here's a look at every 70-point game in NBA history:

100 … Wilt Chamberlain [Phi. Warriors], 1961-62 [vs. Knicks*]
81 … Kobe Bryant [Lakers], 2005-06 [vs. Raptors]
78 … Wilt Chamberlain [Phi. Warriors], 1961-62 [vs. Lakers]
73 … Wilt Chamberlain [Phi. Warriors], 1961-62 [vs. Packers]
73 … Wilt Chamberlain [S.F. Warriors], 1962-63 [@Knicks]
73 … David Thompson [Nuggets], 1977-78 [@Pistons]
72 … Wilt Chamberlain [S.F. Warriors], 1962-63 [@Lakers]
71 … Elgin Baylor [Lakers], 1960-61 [@Knicks]
71 … Damian Lillard [Trailblazers], 2022-23 [vs. Rockets]
71 … Donovan Mitchell [Cavs], 2022-23 [vs. Bulls]
71 … David Robinson [Spurs], 1993-94 [@Clippers]
70 … Devin Booker [Suns], 2016-17 [@Celtics]
70 … Wilt Chamberlain [S.F. Warriors], 1962-63 [@Nationals]
70 … Joel Embiid [76ers], 2023-24 [Spurs]

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