Sixers’ Joel Embiid Scores 42 Points, Hand Hornets Worst Loss Ever

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

Reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid delivered an outstanding performance with 42 points and 15 rebounds, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a historic 135-82 victory over the Charlotte Hornets, marking the Hornets’ most significant defeat in their team history. The game took place on Saturday night.

“I was going to be aggressive anyway, but the fact that I didn’t get [the call], I felt that I had to go harder and be more aggressive,” Embiid said.

Tyrese Maxey contributed 21 points for the 76ers. The team gained an early advantage, largely due to Embiid’s impressive individual performance in the first quarter, where he outscored the entire Hornets team. By halftime, the 76ers had established a commanding 29-point lead and maintained their dominance.

This 53-point loss surpassed the Hornets’ previous record defeat, a 50-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in January 2000. Hornets coach Steve Clifford acknowledged the impact of missing players on the game’s outcome.

“I mean, the overall story of the game would be more guys who didn’t play, than the guys that did,” Clifford said.

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Charlotte was significantly weakened, missing three starters – LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, and Mark Williams – along with two crucial reserves, P.J. Washington and Cody Martin. Their top scorer, Terry Rozier, also left the game in the third quarter due to an elbow injury, although he was not officially ruled out.

Embiid set a strong pace from the start, scoring 18 points and securing nine rebounds in the first quarter, propelling the 76ers to an early lead. He expressed that a non-call on a foul early in the game fueled his aggressive play throughout.

“When he just brings the ball up the court and plays one-on-one, there’s really not much you can do,” Clifford said. “He does it out of the flow. Centers are having to do something they normally don’t have to do [on defense]. I feel like the only guy like that at all would be [Nikola] Jokic.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets Updates

Maxey’s five 3-pointers in the second quarter and Embiid’s total of 25 points and 10 rebounds by halftime further solidified the 76ers’ position. Embiid, with an impressive 18 of 23 shooting, left the game to MVP chants near the end of the third quarter, not returning for the fourth.

Sixers coach Nick Nurse praised Embiid’s shooting confidence and rhythm. On the other hand, the Hornets, led by Brandon Miller with 14 points, faced difficulties with their shooting efficiency.

“I just think he’s just really feeling confident about it,” Nurse said. “Obviously, I love the rhythm he is taking it in. It hits his hands, it’s going up.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets Updates

The Hornets are already buried deep in the Eastern Conference standings before facing tough upcoming opponents. Coach Clifford emphasized the need for the return of their key players in face of this tough stretch. Meanwhile, the 76ers, tied for second in the East, have a more manageable schedule ahead, presenting an opportunity to improve their standing.

“We have to get our guys back,” Clifford said. “This is a brutal stretch, the next two weeks. There are no easy weeks in this league, but if you look at the upcoming schedule, it’s going to be hard. And we’re not sure when those guys will come back.”

Next up, the 76ers will host the Chicago Bulls, while the Hornets will face the Toronto Raptors, both games scheduled for Monday night.

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