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What. The. JOEL. Are you Embiiding me?

We have that and more in Thursday’s NBA newsletter.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers have put so much faith into Joel Embiid over the years, from Sam Hinkie taking him No. 3 overall despite injury concerns to the massive contract Bryan Colangelo offered him this summer. That faith is being rewarded with interest.

The line for Embiid's Wednesday historic performance against the Lakers in L.A.: 46 points on 14-20 shooting, 15 rebounds, seven assists, and seven blocks. He looked flawless alongside genius-level point guard Ben Simmons, who cooked up 18-9-10 with five steals himself. The Sixers won, albeit in a competitive 115-109 game, as Brandon Ingram had his best game as a pro and Kyle Kuzma did his thing.

Predictably, Embiid got in a shot on Lonzo Ball after the game, posting a photo of the rook getting run down with the location set as "Lavar." Cold world. (Ball, by the way, had two points on 1-9 shooting with five assists.)

Scores Galore ...

SAC 80, ATL 126
WAS 102, MIA 93
UTA 101, NYK 106
CLE 115, CHA 107
IND 116, MEM 113
DET 95, MIL 99
SAS 86, MIN 98
TOR 125, NOP 116
CHI 79, OKC 92
ORL 94, POR 99
PHI 115, LAL 109

... And So Much More

By the way, Embiid claimed on Wednesday that his conditioning is at about 69 percent.

By the way by the way, this was Embiid's first official road trip to Los Angeles. In the two games against the Clippers and Lakers, he had 78 points and 31 rebounds. The good news is that he'll be back in L.A. this season despite playing in the East, because that's where the NBA All-Star Game is being held.

The Sixers used some cap space to renegotiate and extend Robert Covington, avoiding an expensive free agency bidding way. Smart.

I wrote about how most of the brightest young stars in the NBA -- the real future of the league -- are international players.

How Chris Douglas-Roberts became Supreme Bey. Fascinating.

This is an absolutely vicious open court nutmeg by John Wall. Also, Hassan Whiteside, dude ...?

Three ways Eric Bledsoe has made the Bucks better.

Thursday night marks the biggest showdown since opening night: the Warriors take their seven-game double-digit winning streak into Boston to knock heads with the Celtics' 13-game winning streak. A battle of presumptive (and current) No. 1 seeds. 8 p.m. ET on TNT. This is going to be good. (You shall be forgiven if you don't stay up to watch Chris Paul's return to the Rockets in Phoenix at 10:30 ET.)

By the way, this will be just the seventh time in 323 games that the Warriors are playing a team with a better record. Unbelievable.


Kyle Kuuuuuuuzma profile from MoMo Shelburne.

Draymond Green said the Cavaliers should be worried about James’ workload. James agrees.

The great Tom Haberstroh is the latest reporter to dig into the NBA's vegan trend.

Space Jam, the greatest movie about Michael Jordan saving the planet ever made, is now old enough to drink legally! Here are some fun facts about the film.

I laughed out loud and then cringed uncontrollably when Brandon Ingram used a ref's shirt as a towel.

The inside story of the 24 hours after the 2011 Mavericks won the title.

There is unwatchable, unredeemable basketball, and then there is the very bad Atlanta Hawks beating the very bad Sacramento Kings by 46 dang points.

On that note, be excellent to each other.

Beef History: The Sixers vs. the Ball Family