Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid overwhelmed the Los Angeles Lakers in a Wednesday showdown of the NBA’s top young talents, scoring 46 points in the 76ers’ 115-109 victory.
The dominating 23-year-old Cameroon 7-footer (2.13m) sank 14-of-20 shots from the floor and 16-of-19 from the free throw line, pulled down 15 rebounds, passed out seven assists and blocked seven shots.
“Just being aggressive,” Embiid said of the reason for his epic night. “I just wanted to come out and get down low and be a (force) down there.”
Embiid, who had 19 points in the fourth quarter, produced the highest-scoring game for the 76ers since Allen Iverson scored 46 in 2006.
No player in NBA history had scored 46 points with 15 rebounds in a game while adding so many blocks and assists and Embiid warned he still isn’t in top form.
“I’m still working on my condition,” Embiid said. “I’ll say 69 percent. I’m at 69 percent but it’s getting there.”
Australian guard Ben Simmons, 21, added 18 points, nine rebounds, 10 assists and five steals for the 76ers in a stunning effort that was nonetheless overshadowed by Embiid’s heroics.
“It’s not just us. It’s the whole team. We’ve all been playing well together,” said Embiid, whose team is 8-6 after a 1-4 start.
“At the beginning I thought we were so young and we had to work so hard. But we have come along. We’ve still got a lot of work to do but it’s coming together.”
Brandon Ingram, 20, had a career-best 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Lakers while Kyle Kuzma, 22, added a career-high 24 points but highly touted 20-year-old Lonzo Ball spent the fourth quarter on the Lakers bench for the second game in a row, managing only two points.
– LeBron sparks Cavs win –
LeBron James scored 31 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 115-107 triumph at Charlotte. It was the third win in a row on a four-game road trip for the Cavs (8-7).
“This was a big win and this was a big trip for us overall,” James said. “Any time you’re on the road for more than two days, and this was a week for us, you have the opportunity to come together even more.
“We faced a little adversity throughout some of the games and you’ve got to be resilient.”
Kevin Love added 22 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland while France’s Nicolas Batum scored 16 points for Charlotte in his first game of the season following elbow surgery.
“Obviously Nic makes such a difference and as he gets more into rhythm I think you’ll start to see the potential that our group has,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said.
Dennis Schroder scored 21 points while Dewayne Dedmon had a career-high 20 points and added 14 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks routed Sacramento 126-80.
The Hawks (3-12) enjoyed their first home win this season and most lopsided victory since beating Detroit 141-97 in March 1994.
Khris Middleton scored 27 points and Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo added 21 to lead the Milwaukee Bucks over visiting Detroit 99-95.
– Westbrook, Carmelo shine –
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 21 points, five rebounds and seven assists while Carmelo Anthony added 18 points and 11 rebounds as the Oklahoma City Thunder downed visiting Chicago 92-79.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 26 points and Kristaps Porzingis netted 22 to spark the New York Knicks over visiting Utah 106-101.
The Jazz were without injured French center Rudy Gobert while the Knicks did not use French center Joakim Noah, eligible after serving a 20-game performance-enhancing drug suspension.
John Wall produced 27 points and Bradley Beal contributed 26 to lead the Washington Wizards to a 102-93 victory at Miami while Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 16 rebounds to lead host Minnesota over the San Antonio Spurs 98-86.
DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points to pace seven double-figure scorers as Toronto ripped host New Orleans 125-116.
Indiana guard Darren Collison scored a season-high 30 points as the Pacers outlasted host Memphis 116-113 while Portland’s Damian Lillard had game highs of 26 points and 11 rebounds in a 99-94 win over visiting Orlando. –Agence France-Presse