PHILADELPHIA – Joel Embiid scored 70 points to surpass Wilt Chamberlain and set a new record for most points in a single game, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 133-123 victory over the San Antonio Spurs and rookie Victor Wimpanyama on Monday at Wells Fargo Center. .
Embiid's recent streak — 70 points, 18 rebounds and 5 assists — has never been matched before in NBA history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. In addition to setting a new personal and franchise record, Embiid also passed Milwaukee Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo's 64 points against the Indiana Pacers for the most points in a single game by a player this season.
Embiid broke the team record with a coast-to-coast layup late in the fourth quarter, capping off a legendary performance that saw him score 24 points in the first quarter and 34 in the first half and match his previous career high of 59 points. — He was assigned last year against the Utah Jazz — in three quarters after ending the third period with a 3-pointer.
At that point, the only question remaining was whether Embiid would return at all in the fourth period or spend the final 12 minutes on the bench — as he has done several other times this season in blowout wins.
However, San Antonio stuck with Wimbanyama's impressive 33-point, seven-rebound performance, which led to a standing ovation when Embiid returned to the game with 6:38 left.
Embiid was then immediately fouled by Jeremy Sochan on his first offensive possession of the quarter, making two free throws to set a new career-high. The crowd was desperate to see the NBA's best player make history — so much so that fans booed Embiid's teammate Danuel House Jr. when House took a 3-pointer midway through the quarter.
In the end, Embiid tied Chamberlain's previous franchise record of 68 points with two free throws with 1:57 remaining, before a coast-to-coast layup broke the record. He ended up playing 36 minutes and 38 seconds.
It was a performance that made Hall of Fame coach Gregg Popovich's press conference seem prophetic.
Asked if Sochan might be able to help Wimpanyama guard Embiid, the Spurs coach simply said: “I don’t think what we do matters.”
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