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Joel Embiid’s monster night powers Sixers past Jazz

The Utah Jazz nearly won this game, which is pretty remarkable considering everything that went against them

Utah Jazz v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Joel Embiid was a beast tonight with a stat line that almost doesn’t look real. Against a tired Utah Jazz team, Embiid put on a show and led the Sixers to a win, 105-98.

59 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, and 7 blocks! Oh, and he did it on 67% shooting from the field. Probably the most remarkable thing about it was how he scored. In the first quarter, the Jazz actually did a pretty good job on Embiid and forced him into threes and drives to the rim, where they successfully knocked him out of rhythm. But Embiid would adjust to shooting fadeaway in the midrange and was dominant with it.

Olynyk drew the assignment most of the night, but it was obvious the shot he couldn’t impact defensively was that Dirk-like fadeaway from Embiid. From the 2nd quarter on, Embiid went to that shot over and over and over.

In the shot chart, you can see where he was unstoppable. To counter, the Jazz did do some decent prevent defense but it wasn’t good enough to keep the ball from Embiid, who was completely dominant.

The biggest upside for this game was that Utah really should have won. Maybe it was tired legs because of this being the back end of a back-to-back on the road, but Utah shot just 56% from the free throw line. Probably also a sign of tired legs was the bad decision-making, and bad shot choice. Utah had 17 turnovers, which is not good, but they also drove constantly to the rim against Embiid, who had 7 blocks. At what point do you decide that’s not a good shot? The good news about those things is they are fixable issues. Yes, the referees missed some obvious fouls for the Jazz at the end of this one, and those calls would have changed things for Utah, but the Jazz did shoot 23 free throws. This one is a game you chalk up to tired legs, and you move on. The Jazz have now lost two in a row, and if they lose their next one, then you start to worry a little. For now, the Jazz still look like one of the top teams in the league.