Thursday evening’s game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Minnesota Timberwolves was billed as an epic match-up between Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid. In the first meeting of two of the NBA’s brightest young stars, Towns was the victor in multiple ways. The second-year standout for the Wolves got the better of the statistical battle, plus Minnesota blew the Sixers out, 110-86. But, as you can see above, Towns completely faked out Embiid before putting another Sixer on a poster.
While the dunk of the night for Towns (though maybe not the best dunk overall, thanks to Zach LaVine) did not come directly on Embiid, Philadelphia’s big man was prominently involved. He left the ground on the perimeter after a pump fake, paving the way for Towns to attack the rim. The reigning Rookie of the Year then lit up Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot in epic fashion.
Towns was phenomenal throughout the night, finishing with 25 points on 12-for-18 shooting and 10 rebounds while anchoring Minnesota on the defensive end of the court. It is fair to say that Embiid (10 points and 10 rebounds) also put together a reasonably strong performance given his modest playing time (22 minutes), but round one of a potentially legendary series of match-ups went strongly to Towns and this play was the best example of that.