In terms of both basketball and trash talk, the 76ers center had one of the most memorable games of his career.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has become one of the most thrilling players in the NBA, and he put his flair for the dramatic on full display on Monday night.
The 76ers were leading the Los Angeles Clippers 38-30 in the second quarter when the game reached a turning point.
Embiid got the ball down low and went up for a basket, but he was thwarted by the Clippers center Willie Reed, who grabbed Embiid by the shoulder and pulled him to the ground, resulting in a technical foul. Embiid laughed and walked about the court after the incident, while appearing to be saying, "He can't f------ guard me."
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The foul seemed to spark a fire in Embiid's belly, because he spent the rest of the game mercilessly taunting Reed. It started when he openly laughed at Reed while taking his technical free throws and soon escalated to other gestures.
But as the game went on, Embiid began to spread the love, taunting anyone and everyone in a Clippers jersey. On one play near the end of the first half, the native Cameroonian made DeAndre Jordan dance on a pump fake before delivering a powerful dunk and staring down Blake Griffin while running to get back on defense.
Jordan eventually fouled out, recording his sixth of the game with a shooting foul on Embiid. Embiid had a predictably great reaction, firing back at a taunting Clippers fan while gloating about Jordan's early removal. Soon after, Reed fouled out, which brought Embiid's wild night to a kind of full circle.
In all, Embiid recorded 32 points and 16 rebounds in one of the finest performances of his career — the 76ers were an incredible plus-23 when he was on the court. He also led both sides in trash talk, even referring to Reed as "uh, I don't know what's his name" in a postgame interview.
Embiid and the 76ers will play their next game on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers.