Two young NBA stars each scored a career-high 50 points on Friday night in different games.
Joel Embiid scored 50 points to lead the host Philadelphia 76ers to a 112-105 victory over the Chicago Bulls, while Jamal Murray’s 50 propelled the visiting Denver Nuggets to a 120-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But they did it in vastly different ways.
The 26-year-old Embiid — who was 17-of-26 from the field — added 17 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and two steals in a dominating 35-minute performance at both ends of the court. The 76ers center also was 15-of-17 from the free-throw line, but hit just one 3-pointer.
“The only difference from this year and last year is about me being willing to dominate every single moment I’m on the floor on defense and on offense,” said Embiid, an MVP candidate.
Murray, on the other hand, poured in his 50 in a much different manner.
The Nuggets star guard was the first player in NBA history to reach that magic number without attempting a free throw. Murray also made 21 of 25 shots, including 8 of 10 3-pointers and scored 30 in the second half. The 23-year-old added six rebounds and two steals during 38 electrifying minutes.
“I was just making my shots,” he said matter-of-factly. “It’s kind of cool to make history. It’s a cool stat.”
Both star’s coaches were impressed by their other-wordly performances.
“It’s good to have him on our side, I’ll tell you that,” coach Doc Rivers said of Embiid after the 76ers’ win.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone was equally effusive about the show Murray put on.
“To do it as efficiently as he did it is really remarkable,” Malone said. “That’s an incredible stat line.”
— with AP