Joel Embiid Dominates as 76ers Beat Clippers Despite Paul George's 37 Points

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 17, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts after a basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 106-103 on Friday at Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia center Joel Embiid's 36 points and 14 rebounds paced the 76ers, and Clippers forward Paul George led L.A. with 37 points and nine rebounds.

The 76ers led 104-98 with 47.7 seconds remaining, but a Marcus Morris Sr. dunk and Reggie Jackson three-pointer cut the lead to 104-103 with 21.2 seconds left.

Philadelphia shooting guard Danny Green responded with two free throws to put the 76ers up three. L.A. still had a chance to tie, but Embiid rebounded a missed Morris three-pointer to end the game.

Both teams were shorthanded. Of note, Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard sat with a sore right foot, and Philadelphia forward Tobias Harris was sidelined with right knee soreness. 

The Clippers continued to miss guard Patrick Beverley (fourth metacarpal fracture on left hand) and Serge Ibaka (lower back tightness). For the 76ers, guard Seth Curry (left hip flexor tightness) and Dwight Howard (left knee soreness) also sat.

The 39-17 76ers have won four straight, and the 39-19 Clippers' seven-game win streak snapped in defeat.


Notable Performances

Clippers F Paul George: 37 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists

Clippers F Patrick Patterson: 18 points

Clippers F Marcus Morris Sr.: 15 points

76ers C Joel Embiid: 36 points, 14 rebounds

76ers PG Ben Simmons: 12 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks

76ers SG Danny Green: 11 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 blocks


Embiid, 76ers Finish on Top After Another Duel

Embiid has scored 36 or more points in each of his last three games. Likewise, the leading scorer of the 76ers' opponent in each of those three contests has scored 32 or more.

The big man's team has reigned victorious each time, though. Embiid has averaged 37.0 points per game in that stretch, doing enough to hold off efforts from Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic (32 points), Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving and Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (37 each).

On Friday, Embiid and George's performances prompted Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice to issue this tweet:

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck

fourth quarter should just be Embiid and Paul George playing one-on-one

Embiid was simply sensational on a night where only one teammate (Furkan Korkmaz) scored more than 12 points. He shot 10-of-20 from the field and 16-of-18 from the free-throw line. The ex-Kansas star also committed just two turnovers despite his tremendous usage.

He and the 76ers opened the game on a 20-3 run, which included this fast-break finish:


Danny Green, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid run the break! 20-3 @sixers start on ESPN https://t.co/s0o4cW0pB7

This smooth one-legged jumper over Ivica Zubac helped him get 28 points before the fourth quarter:


28 PTS for Joel. #PhantomCam 81-77 PHI lead through 3 on ESPN https://t.co/DNiV4qXdOQ

He had eight more in the fourth to help keep the Clippers at bay.

It was another great performance from Embiid, who joined some excellent company in franchise history, per ESPN Stats & Info:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

The Philadelphia 76ers beat the LA Clippers and improve to 22-6 (.786) in clutch time games this season. Joel Embiid becomes the first 76ers player with 3 straight 35-point games since Allen Iverson in January 2006. https://t.co/tdzgOJN3IU

Embiid is likely finding himself well on his way to an NBA MVP as well:

Basketball Reference @bball_ref

Joel Embiid has a 123 ORtg, a 103 DRtg, and a 35.1% usage rate No player since 1973, the first year we can calculate possessions, has hit all three of those numbers in a season https://t.co/a0Vur5DB2g

Embiid's torrid scoring stretch won't last forever, but most importantly, his excellent play kept Philadelphia on pace to finish first in the East.


Another Phenomenal Game from Paul George

George entered this game averaging 34.3 points on 55.2 percent shooting, 6.3 assists and 5.0 rebounds over his last four matchups. He scored 32 or more in each contest, all of which ended in Clipper wins.

The pressure was on George to deliver on the road against one of the NBA's best teams without his co-star in Leonard, and he nearly willed the Clippers to their eighth straight win.

PG-13 is now posting 34.8 points in his last five games after hitting 14 of his season-high 29 field-goal attempts Friday. He scored in every which way while also getting his teammates involved.

He had a good take in the first quarter to get going:

LA Clippers @LAClippers

Tough take. 📺 @BallySportWest | @Yg_Trece https://t.co/tBQEoh0DsZ

PG-13 also helped turned defense into offense on this play:

LA Clippers @LAClippers

Active hands ➡️ And-1 📺 @BallySportWest | @Yg_Trece https://t.co/8yQgJMGU37

George finished with six assists, including one dime to Patrick Patterson (18 points) and another to Zubac:

LA Clippers @LAClippers

Just add water. @pdpatt | 📺 @BallySportWest https://t.co/bIjJR5QXO9

LA Clippers @LAClippers

Work it around, throw it down. @Reggie_Jackson ➡️ @Yg_Trece ➡️ @ivicazubac https://t.co/ANlFKKsYkc

He also bullied his way into the lane:

LA Clippers @LAClippers

.@Yg_Trece 😤 📺 @BallySportWest | #ClipperNation https://t.co/6UOVYCQLws

In addition, George showcased some good chemistry with his new teammate in Rajon Rondo:

LA Clippers @LAClippers

.@RajonRondo ➡️ @Yg_Trece 👌 📺 @BallySportWest | #ClipperNation https://t.co/GasASrF54j

And he also took part in the Clippers' barrage of threes, hitting four of the team's 19 on the night:

LA Clippers @LAClippers

Heating up. The team poured in six threes in the third. https://t.co/Ona1U6B5b8

He was never better than in the third quarter, when he scored 15 points to give himself 32 before the fourth.

LA Clippers @LAClippers

Attack mode.  @Yg_Trece drops 15 points in the third quarter. https://t.co/Dv2xjy9plH

Embiid and the 76ers were too much in the end, but George and the Clippers were excellent in defeat.


What's Next?

L.A. will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET in Staples Center. Philadelphia will stay home to host the Golden State Warriors on Monday at 7:30 p.m.