Joel Embiid and Jamal Murray: Tale of two career nights


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Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray dropped 50, and so did Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. Both were career highs in scoring.

Murray accomplished his in a 120-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Embiid did it in a win over the Chicago Bulls.

This is the second time this month the NBA had two players score at least 50 points. The last came on Feb. 6 when Stephen Curry and Nikola Jokic did it. Here’s a look at some of the numbers from Murray and Embiid’s epic nights:

Murray was wildly efficient

Including the playoffs, it was Murray’s third 50-point game of his career. But, his performance Friday was the most efficient. Murray shot 21-of-25 (84%) on field goals. He was 8-of-10 on 3-point attempts.

The 84% shooting was the second-highest shooting percentage in a 50-point performance; Wilt Chamberlain shot 87% in a 53-point game in 1967.

Murray had 20 points in the paint and 20 points from 3-point range. He joins James Harden, Bradley Beal, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant as the only players to do that.

All those points and from different parts of the floor — and none of them came from the free throw line. Murray is the first player in NBA history to score 50 without hitting a free throw. Hakeem Olajuwon and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar each had the previous high of 48 points without a free throw.

Good company for Embiid

The only 76ers’ centers to score 50 points in a game: Moses Malone, Wilt Chamberlain and Embiid.

Embiid and Chamberlain are the only players in 76ers history to have 50 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists in a game. Embiid joins Russell Westbrook, Michael Jordan and James Harden as the only players with multiple games of 45 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists since the NBA-ABA merger.

Embiid is the first 76ers player to score 50 since Allen Iverson did so in December 2005. Embiid is also the first 7-footer to score 50 since Dirk Nowitzki did so in 2006.

Overpowering the Bulls, Embiid did most of his damage in the half-court offense. Wendell Carter Jr. and Thaddeus Young weren’t much help defensively against Embiid, allowing him to score 40 of his 45 half-court points. The Bulls tried doubling-teaming Embiid, but he was 6-of-11 shooting when he was double-teamed.

And unlike Murray, Embiid racked up free throws, scoring 15 points from the line.

ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.

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