Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, bottom, dunks past Los Angeles Clippers’ Nicolas Batum in the course of the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The NBA went into Christmas with an evening like none other.
For the primary time in NBA history, five players scored at the least 43 points on the identical day. It happened Friday, with Dallas’ Luka Doncic leading the best way with 50 points against Houston.
The others: Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid scored 44 against the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a career-high 44 against Recent Orleans, Recent York’s RJ Barrett had 44 against Chicago and Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton scored a career-best 43 against Miami.
“Luka is Luka,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “He’s the perfect player on the earth and he showed that tonight, carrying the load offensively again.”
As he often does, Doncic deferred the credit.
“My teammates trusted me,” he said after his 17-for-30 night that also included 10 rebounds and eight assists.
The largest shot of the night in Dallas’ 112-106 win over Houston might need been Doncic hitting a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left to offer the Mavericks a five-point lead.
And that wasn’t even probably the most dramatic 3 that the night’s big scorers had.
That honor went to Haliburton, who made 10 3-pointers — the last of them with 4.3 seconds left to offer the Pacers a 111-108 win over the Heat.
“Tyrese Haliburton is an artist,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said when asked about Haliburton’s different-than-most shooting stroke. “And you recognize, some folks that have unconventional ways to achieve success on this game, you will have to only leave them alone and permit them to do what they do. His artistry is the best way he gets the ball within the basket, the best way he sees the sport, the best way he connects teammates and the special person who he’s.”
Embiid’s big night got here in Philadelphia’s seventh consecutive win. Barrett and the Knicks wound up falling to the Bulls, and Gilgeous-Alexander’s 44 got here in an extra time loss to Recent Orleans — which he nearly prolonged into double extra time, with a 40-foot desperation shot at the top hitting the front rim on the buzzer of a 128-125 final.
“It was close. Not close enough,” said Gilgeous-Alexander, whose great begin to this season has cemented himself as an early front-runner for NBA’s Most Improved Player honors — not to say other postseason accolades, and certain a visit to the All-Star Game as well.
There now have been just over 4,400 instances of a player scoring 40 or more points in a regular-season game. Friday was only the fifth time that five of those happened on the identical day — and the second time it happened in 2022.
On April 10, the ultimate day of the 2021-22 regular season, Obi Toppin had 42 for Recent York, Jalen Green had 41 for Houston, Malik Monk scored 41 for the Los Angeles Lakers, Klay Thompson had 41 for Golden State and Victor Oladipo scored 40 for Miami.
The opposite three instances of 5 40-point scorers:
— Feb. 21, 2003 — Tracy McGrady scored 52 for Orlando, Jamal Mashburn 50 for the Recent Orleans Hornets, Michael Jordan 43 for Washington, Allen Iverson 41 for Philadelphia and Kobe Bryant 40 for the Lakers.
— Feb. 2, 2001 — Allen Iverson scored 47 for Philadelphia, Bryant 44 for the Lakers, Chris Webber 41 for Sacramento, Paul Pierce 40 for Boston and Jerry Stackhouse 40 for Detroit.
— Dec. 25, 1961 — Wilt Chamberlain scored 59 for the Philadelphia Warriors, Tom Heinsohn 45 for Boston, Elgin Baylor 40 for the Lakers, Richie Guerin 40 for Recent York and Oscar Robertson 40 for Cincinnati.
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