Numbers behind Joel Embiid's and Karl-Anthony Towns' historic games

ByAnthony Gharib ESPN logo
Tuesday, January 23, 2024

On the 18th anniversary of Kobe Bryant's 81-point game, Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Townsput together two of the highest-scoring performances in NBA history.

Embiid finished with 70 points, 18 rebounds and 5 assists against the San Antonio Spurs -- the most points ever scored against the franchise. Towns finished with 62 points and 8 rebounds against the Charlotte Hornets.

The two are the fourth pair of players to each score 60 points on the same day and the first since David Thompson (73) and George Gervin (63) in 1978.

Embiid's 70 points set a 76ers single-game scoring record, surpassing the old mark, which had stood since December 1967, making it the third-oldest standing franchise scoring record.

Embiid became the first player with 70 points and 15 rebounds in a game since Wilt Chamberlain in 1963 and third to do so. He is also the first player in NBA history with 70 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists.

Meanwhile, Towns became the seventh player in NBA history with multiple career 60-point games. His 62 points are a Timberwolves single-game scoring record.

Here are the key numbers behind Embiid's record-breaking performance:

1: Embiid kept it clean during his high-scoring game, recording just one turnover. He passed Carmelo Anthony (62) for the most points in a game with one turnover or none since individual turnovers became an official statistic in 1977-78.

21: Thirty percent of Embiid's points came at the charity stripe, where he made 21 of 23 free throws.

That's his fourth career game with at least 20 free throws, breaking a tie with Dolph Schayes for the most in 76ers history.

43: There's been no shortage of 40-point, 10-rebound games in Embiid's career. He recorded his 43rd 40-point, 10-rebound game Monday, tying Shaquille O'Neal for the sixth most in NBA history.

Embiid is also tied with O'Neal for the most such games by a player since the NBA merger in 1976-77.

36:38: Embiid made quick work of his 70-point game. He played 36 minutes and 38 seconds, the fewest in a 70-point game in NBA history.

His speedy scoring efforts caught the eye of LeBron James, Pau Gasol and more as the NBA world praised the prolific center.

Here are some numbers highlighting Towns' 62-point night.

10: Towns did a good chunk of his damage from beyond the arc, hitting 10 3-pointers. He's the third player in Timberwolves history to hit 10 3-pointers in a game.

Towns is also the first player in NBA history with 10 3-point field goals, 10 2-point field goals and 10 free throws made in a game.

44: Towns' hot start to the game aided his career-high performance. He scored 44 points in the first half, passing Bryant for the most points in a first half since the 1996-97 season.

Towns scored his 40-plus first-half points on 80% shooting, joining Brandon Jennings as the only other player to do so in the play-by-play era (Jennings had 45 points on 81% shooting).

1: Already in the Timberwolves record book, Towns also cemented his place in NBA history. He's the first No. 1 pick in NBA history with multiple 60-point games and the first Timberwolves player to score 60 in a game.

ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.

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