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76ers’ Joel Embiid active leader in 35-point, 10-rebound games

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Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid has recorded 74 games with at least 35 points and 10 rebounds, leading all other active NBA players. The six-time All-Star now leads LeBron James (73), Giannis Antetokounmpo (71), Anthony Davis (69), and Russell Westbrook (58).

In Philadelphia’s 127-123 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, the five-time All-NBA member amassed 35 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, and four blocks in 38 minutes of action. Embiid, 29, shot 8-of-18 (44.4%) from the floor and 19-of-21 (90.5%) at the foul line.

Referring to a few NBA betting sites, the Philadelphia 76ers hold sixth-shortest odds to win this season’s championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, and Golden State Warriors.

In the Sixers’ 138-94 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night, Embiid posted 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists in 31 minutes played. The 2023 MVP finished 9-of-15 (60%) shooting from the field, 2-of-3 (66.7%) beyond the arc, and 10-of-12 (83.3%) at the line.

Embiid’s 30-point outing against the Lakers was his first triple-double of the season and sixth overall. Sixers coach Nick Nurse rested the two-time scoring champ the entire fourth quarter.

76ers star Joel Embiid leads the NBA in points (512), free throws (165), and usage percentage (36.1%)

“That’s my favorite team,” Embiid said, recalling his younger days as a Kobe Bryant fan. “Any time I play against them, you want to get the win. But I do it every night anyways against every other team.”

More importantly, it was the Lakers’ worst loss to the 76ers in 290 games in the series, and this game was Philadelphia’s seventh straight win over L.A. It was also the first time since 2010 that LeBron James was held without a rebound.

The 76ers hit 22 3-pointers to just seven for the Lakers. Philadelphia ended the first half with 13 3-pointers, a season high for a half, on 26 shots. Plus, the Sixers shot 47-of-93 (50.5%) from the floor.

Through 16 games of the 2023-24 season, Embiid is averaging 32 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.9 blocks, and 34.5 minutes per game. He’s shooting 49.8% from the field and 31.5% from 3-point range as well.

Embiid leads the NBA in points (512), free throws (165), and usage percentage (36.1%). The eight-year veteran is also averaging a career-best player efficiency rating of 32.2.

NBA sportsbooks show Joel Embiid with third-shortest odds to win MVP this season. Oddsmakers are giving better odds to Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic.





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Scottie Pippen admits that Michael Jordan is the one and only GOAT

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Ever since the airing of The Last Dance, many players from the Bulls dynasty expressed their disappointment by the way they were portrayed in the docuseries. One of the most outspoken was Scottie Pippen, who criticized Michael Jordan and insisted that he would’ve not been able to achieve what he did without the team around him. 

Despite this ongoing feud, the Hall of Famer still recognized his former teammate’s greatness in a recent interview. The former big man is currently in Australia to announce the “No Bull” Tour, alongside fellow stars Horace Grant and Luc Longley.

In an interview on Australia’s the Today Show, host Karl Stefanovic dared to ask: “It’s hard to make comparisons but from where you were standing playing, was Michael the best, the greatest ever?”

Pippen didn’t hesitate to answer affirmatively. “Oh, for sure. I mean, you look at the MVPs that he was able to achieve. But I think it was all brought from us being successful as a team. Obviously, someone’s gonna bring those accolades home. But yeah, he was the greatest player, definitely, in basketball,” Scottie explained.

Last year, when he first voiced his discontent over The Last Dance, he even went all the way to call LeBron James “the greatest statistical guy to ever play the game of basketball” during a podcast appearance in May.

“And there’s no comparison to him. None. So does that make him the greatest player to ever play the game? I’ll leave that up for debate, because I don’t believe there’s a great player because our game’s a team game, and one player can’t do it,” the Bulls icon shared.

During the same podcast, he recalled Jordan as a “terrible player” before he joined the team in Chicago. “I saw Jordan play before I came to play with the Bulls. You guys saw him play. He was a horrible player. He was horrible to play with,” Pippen said. “He was all one-on-one, he’s shooting bad shots, and all of a sudden we become a team and we start winning and everybody forgot who he was.”

In Australia, the Hall of Famer even dedicated some praise for The Last Dance docuseries as an educational tool

It seems Pippen finally decided to judge the Netflix docuseries in a realistic manner, as he finally admitted it was very entertaining and could even be considered an educational tool to show people the greatness in basketball.

“I thought it was special,” Scottie started out. “I thought it was a special moment for us to really relive some of the greatest times in basketball history. More so, have an opportunity to see what team basketball was really like. I think during the pandemic, everyone sitting at home, it was more like an educational tool to let people see how great the game can be if it’s played the right way. If there’s sharing of the basketball, there’s unlimited things you can achieve.”

The former center’s biggest criticism of the series was mostly due to the fact that it seemed as if Jordan was credited with all the Bulls’ success during their 90s dynasty. “They glorified Michael Jordan while not giving nearly enough praise to me and my proud teammates,” he wrote in a 2021 memoir.

“Michael deserved a large portion of the blame. The producers had granted him editorial control of the final product. The doc couldn’t have been released otherwise. He was the leading man and the director,” he insisted.





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The Lakers’ 21-point rally was LeBron James’ biggest fourth-quarter comeback

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Just when you think LeBron James‘ career will start winding down, the oldest player in the entire league proves himself with an absolute masterpiece this Wednesday against none other than the Clippers, their city rivals. Not only did the forward drop 34 points throughout the match, but he led his team to a 21-point comeback, the biggest fourth-quarter rally of his entire 21-year career. 

The Lakers superstar was also clutch, as he inspired his team’s revenge with 19 points in the last quarter. Once the game was over, he described his performance as being in the “zone,” a state of mind where it all falls into place almost effortlessly. In a way, he said, it was like possessing a superpower.

“I know we’ve kind of heard this, you know what it feels like to be in the zone in our in our sport. That’s just the feeling where you feel like everything that you put up is going in,” the 39-year-old tried his best to put his exhibition into words.

Then he tried to describe it a second time: “I just try to dictate the tempo, dictate the game, as we started making a run for it and getting the game closer and closer and closer. Just a zone that can’t really describe it. Wish you could stay in it forever, but obviously, it checks out as the game ends. You know during, you don’t feel anything. You just have a superpower out there.”

Even his co-star Anthony Davis, who dropped in 20 points and won 123 rebounds, is never ceased to amaze of his teammate’s abilities and praised him with a few words. “LeBron James,” he told the press. “That’s all I gotta say. LeBron Raymond James.”

Purple and gold icon Magic Johnson also took his thoughts to social media. “LeBron James put the Lakers on his back and carried them home to a victory, scoring 34 points – and outscoring the entire Clippers team in the 4th quarter 19-16!!” Johnson tweeted, encapsulating the magnitude of James’ impact,” he wrote.

“What an outstanding 116-112 comeback victory for the Lakers over the Clippers!! They showed a lot of grit and toughness tonight to erase a 21-point deficit!” the legend then posted a second tweet, giving more credit to the entire team.

Coach Darvin Ham expressed gratitude for LeBron’s capacity of leading his team in clutch moments and inspire comebacks

Once the game was over, Darvin Ham had an easy job at the mic, as he knew LeBron James was the reason behind his squad’s success against their Los Angeles opponents. The Lakers coach showed gratitude for his pupil’s ability to unleash his full potential when they needed him the most.

“You know, he had the cape, tucked under his seat on the bench, I guess,” Darvin expressed as if his star was a superhero. “It was time for him to whip it out. He definitely did that, put the cape on, and just got aggressive and got in a good rhythm.”

Ham revealed that this exhibition came as no surprise, as The King has been shooting exceptionally throughout the entire campaign. One of his best qualities, according to his coach, is the way he easily transitions between scoring and playmaking.

“He’s been shooting the ball, you know, extremely well this whole entire season. And that was just another case of it. You know, once he got in rhythm and, you know, with his playmaking skills, he sets the tone with his three, with his shooting and going downhill,” the tactician claimed.

 





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Andre Drummond records 9th NBA career game with 25+ rebounds

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Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond notched his ninth career game with at least 25 rebounds, the most by an NBA player since 2000, during Wednesday night’s 132-123 double-overtime win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The two-time All-Star ended his performance with 17 points, a season-high 26 rebounds, one assist, and three blocks in 36 minutes as a starter. He finished 8-of-12 (66.7%) shooting from the field.

Dwight Howard registered eight such games across his 18-year career. Five other players each posted three such games — Ben Wallace (2000-07), Tim Duncan (2002-10), Tyson Chandler (2012-16), DeAndre Jordan (2014-17), and Rudy Gobert (2016-21).

Moreover, DeMar DeRozan closed out his outing with a game-high 35 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists against Cleveland. Nikola Vucevic added 24 points and 13 boards. The Bulls set an NBA high in rebounds this season with 74.

“It just speaks to this team, we continue to fight,” Drummond said. “We gave a good fight. Yesterday, we let our guard down a little bit. We knew what we did wrong. Tonight, we played a team that was very high in the standings and came out ready to play.”

Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond grabbed a season-high 25 rebounds against Atlanta Hawks

Through 59 games (10 starts) this season, the 12-year veteran is averaging 8.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.0 steal, and 17.2 minutes per game while shooting 56% from the floor and 57.4% at the foul line.

Drummond, 30, is averaging a total rebound percentage of 29%, just second to last season (29.6%).

In Chicago’s 118-113 victory against the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 26, the 6-foot-11 center posted a season-high 24 points, 25 boards, one assist, three steals, and two blocks in 38 minutes of action.

Bulls coach Billy Donovan praised the UConn product during an interview in January.

“I also think for him, the things that he does do are valuable on any team,” Donovan told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “If he can really rim protect, if he can rebound, and then be an elite roller to the basket, there is a place in the game for him. He doesn’t need to be a stretch-five.”

Furthermore, Drummond has led the league in total rebounds four times (2016, 2018-20) in his career. In his 12th season, he ranks 11th in total rebounds (528), 18th in rebounds per game, and third in offensive rebounds (205).





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