Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns break 45-year-old NBA record with incredible scoring outbursts

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There must be something about January 22nd. 

On the 18th anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s 81-point performance, two of the NBA’s premier big men have paid tribute to the late Lakers’ icon, with explosive scoring performances of their own. 

First came Joel Embiid, the reigning MVP and Philadelphia 76ers center scoring a franchise record 70 points, making him one of just nine players to ever reach this mark. 

But before the dust had settled on this performance, Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns did his best to match this, finishing with 62 points in a loss to the Charlotte Hornets. 

Together, Embiid and Towns became the first duo to score at least 60 points on the same day since 1978, when David Thompson had 73 points and George Gervin scored 63.

Joel Embiid achieves franchise-high in win over Wembanyama

The reigning NBA MVP and current contender for a second, Embiid wasted no time in welcoming 2023 first-overall pick Victor Wembanyama to the league, taking down his Spurs team with a herculean 70-point, 18-rebound performance. 

This saw Embiid become just the third center ever to score 65 points or more in an NBA game, and also break Wilt Chamberlain’s Philadelphia 76ers franchise record for points. 

To Wembanyama’s credit, the rookie finished the game with 33 points of his own, but it was no match for the current NBA scoring leader Embiid. 

Karl-Anthony Towns scores career-high in loss to Charlotte Hornets

A career night for Minnesota Timberwolves player Towns wasn’t enough to rally his team to a win, scoring 62 points in a loss to the Hornets. 

Towns had 44 at half-time but seemed to slump late in the game, which allowed the Hornets to come back from down 15 points, stealing a win and throwing water on the big man’s big night. 

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch didn’t hold back after the game, claiming his squad had embarrassed themselves, and deserved the loss. 

“There’s always a lot of ways to be immature,” Finch said.

“There was a lot of immature performances here throughout the roster.

“We totally disrespected the game, ourselves, and we got exactly what we deserved.”

Social media reacts to Embiid, Towns historic night

With two of the NBA’s elite big men having historic performances, social media predictably exploded, with everyone left in awe. 

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