🏀 Scoring Spectacular

Embiid drops 70, KAT drops 62, College Hoops Catch-Up, Aussie Open, and more...

Rise and Shine! It was a special night in basketball. On the 18th anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game, Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid morphed into walking buckets, making for one of the most memorable scoring nights in NBA history. If 62 points doesn’t tickle your fancy, then hopefully 70 will. If that doesn’t do it, then go try to make 10 consecutive free throws at your local gym. Yup, it’s safe to say these guys are pretty good. We’ll recap their historic performances and then test the temperature in men’s college basketball with a little section we like to call “Who’s Hot & Who’s Not.” Things are also heating up at the Australian Open, while the guys on skates continue to carve. “KOBE!

WTF Stat: Last night, 76ers C Joel Embiid and Timberwolves C Karl-Anthony Towns…

  • Both set franchise records for points in a game.

  • Became the first pair of NBA players since 1978 to each score 60-plus points on the same day.

  • Became the fourth pair of NBA players in league history to each score 60-plus points on the same day.

And they did it on the 18th anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game!

Written By: Ian Dardani

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🏈 Titans plan to hire Bengals OC Brian Callahan as their next head coach - Callahan, 39, just finished his fifth season as Cincinnati's offensive coordinator and helped guide the team to Super Bowl 56 in 2022

🏈 Panthers named Dan Morgan as their next GM and president of football operations - Morgan was the team’s assistant GM from 2021 to 2023 under Scott Fitterer, who was fired after three seasons

⚾️ Pirates and free-agent RP Aroldis Chapman agreed to a 1-year, $10.5M contract - the 35-year-old reliever posted a 3.09 ERA during the 2023 season with the Rangers en route to a World Series title

Photo: Too Hot! | Source: USA Today

NBA - Top Games

  • Philadelphia 76ers 133, San Antonio Spurs 123: Oh my goodness, Joel Embiid, you are downright sick and twisted! Embiid (70 PTS, 24-41 FG, 21-23 FT, 18 REB, 5 AST) put on a performance for the ages last night in Philadelphia, dropping a career-high and franchise-record 70 points — yes, seventy! — coupled with a career-high 18 rebounds to single-handedly lead the Sixers past Victor Wembanyama (33 PTS, 7 REB) and the Spurs for Philly’s sixth straight win - it’s the most points scored by an NBA player this season, and Embiid tied his career high of 59 points through three quarters

  • Charlotte Hornets 128, Minnesota Timberwolves 125: And the scoring didn’t stop there! Karl-Anthony Towns (62 PTS, 21-35 FG, 10-15 3PT, 8 REB) dropped 44 in the first half on his way to a career-high 62 points, breaking his own franchise record of 60 set in March of 2022. However, Miles Bridges (28 PTS, 5 REB) and the Hornets erased an 18-point, 3rd-quarter deficit to come back and stun the West-leading Timberwolves, spoiling Towns’ record night - KAT is now the seventh player in NBA history with multiple 60-point games and had a chance to win it the final seconds but failed to convert

  • Phoenix Suns 115, Chicago Bulls 113: In yet another epic Suns rally, Kevin Durant (43 PTS, 16-32 FG, 6 REB, 8 AST) willed his team back from 23 points down and, after hitting a go-ahead three with 29 seconds to play, answered DeMar DeRozan’s (21 PTS, 5 REB) game-tying two with an outrageous double-clutch, game-winning jumper with 1.1 seconds left, giving the Suns their sixth straight W - Durant dropped 40 in a win over the Pacers on Sunday, and Phoenix erased a 23-point deficit to beat the Kings last Tuesday

  • Boston Celtics 119, Dallas Mavericks 110: Luka Doncic (33 PTS, 18 REB, 13 AST) notched his tenth triple-double of the season but went 12-for-30 from the field, while Jayson Tatum (39 PTS, 11 REB, 5 AST) and Jaylen Brown (34 PTS, 4 AST) combined for 73 points to outpace the Mavs in Dallas - the Celtics (34-10) hold a 3.5-game lead over the Bucks (30-10) for the top spot in the East and have the most wins in the NBA

See the full NBA scoreboard here and the current standings here.

NHL - Top Games

  • New Jersey Devils 6, Vegas Golden Knights 5 (OT): Jonathan Marchessault (2 G, 1 A) sparked a four-goal run for Vegas in the 2nd period to flip a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead, but New Jersey’s Tyler Toffoli (3 G) and Curtis Lazar (2 G) responded with a pair bingos to force overtime, where Toffoli completed a hat trick to give the Devs a much-needed dub over the defending champs - the Devils (24-18-3) and the Knights (27-14-6) are both 5-4-1 in their past 10 games

  • Boston Bruins 4, Winnipeg Jets 1: In a matchup between two division leaders, Winnipeg’s Vladislav Namestnikov (1 G) evened the score at one early in the 1st period, but it was the last puck that would get by Jeremy Swayman (20 SV), and Charlie Coyle (1 G, 1 A) reclaimed the lead for Boston minutes later before the B’s tacked on two more in the 3rd to seal their fifth consecutive victory

  • Florida Panthers 4, Nashville Predators 1: Nashville’s Juuse Saros (34 SV) earned the first star of the game for his efforts between the pipes, but it wasn’t enough as Carter Vergaeghe (1 G, 1 A) and the Cats scored three unanswered goals in the 3rd period to snap their four-game skid - Florida (28-14-4) has the second-most points in the Atlantic with 60, trailing only Boston’s 67

See the full box scores here and the current NHL standings here.

ATP Australian Open - Fourth Round & Quarterfinals

Men’s Singles

  • 4R | #2 Carlos Alcaraz def. Miomir Kecmanovic (6-4, 6-4, 6-0): After missing last year’s Aussie Open due to injury, Carlos Alcaraz is making up for lost time. The 20-year-old Spanish superstar made swift work of Miomir Kecmanovic early Monday morning, ousting the Serbian in less than two hours to book his first trip to the quarterfinals in Melbourne, where he’ll face Alexander Zverev on Wednesday - Alcaraz has dropped just one set through four matches

  • 4R | #6 Alexander Zverev def. #19 Cameron Norrie (7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6): In the match of the day, Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Britain’s Cameron Norrie needed a final tiebreak to decide a five-set thriller, where the 2020 Olympic champion outlasted Norrie 10-3 to set up a quarterfinal duel versus Alcaraz - Norrie, 28, has never beaten a top-10 opponent in a Grand Slam

  • QF | #1 Novak Djokovic vs. #12 Taylor Fritz: Live Score

  • QF | #4 Jannik Sinner vs. #5 Andrey Rublev: Live Score

Women’s Singles

  • QF | #4 Coco Gauff def. Marta Kostyuk (7-6, 6-7, 6-2): In a fierce battle, 21-year-old Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk went toe-to-toe with Coco Gauff for nearly 90 minutes, splitting tiebreakers against the American phenom after blowing a 5-2 lead in the first set, but Gauff was simply too much in the end and rolled in the final set to reach her first Australian Open semifinal - Gauff will face the winner of Aryna Sabalenka and Barbora Krejcikova on Thursday night

  • 4R | #12 Qinwen Zeng def. Oceane Dodin (6-0, 6-3)

  • 4R | Anna Kalinskaya def. #26 Jasmine Paolini (6-4, 6-2)

  • QF | #2 Aryna Sabalenka vs. #9 Barbora Krejcikova: Live Score

See the full results here, the men’s singles bracket here, and the women’s singles bracket here.

College Basketball - Top Games

  • NCAAM | #7 Kansas 74, Cincinnati 69: The Jayhawks had lost two of their last four games entering Monday and found themselves tied with Cincinnati at halftime, but freshman Johnny Furphy (23 PTS, 6-9 3PT, 11 REB) provided a much-needed boost in the second half with some timely buckets, and Kansas survived to rebound from Saturday’s loss at West Virginia

  • NCAAM | #3 North Carolina 85, Wake Forest 64: The Tar Heels’ month-long winning streak looked to be in jeopardy when they entered the break trailing 34-33, but then RJ Davis (36 PTS, 14-23 FG, 4 REB) took over, dropping 23 of his career-high 36 points in the second half to spark an offensive outburst for Carolina, who outscored the Deacons 52-30 in the final 20 minutes for their ninth-straight dub - more on Kansas and UNC below!

  • NCAAW | #16 Utah 94, #2 UCLA 81 (OT): Eight days after USC spoiled their perfect season, the Bruins were upended by Utah in overtime as Ines Viera’s (12 PTS, 5 AST) layup tied the game with one second left in regulation and Kennady McQueen (21 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST) scored a season-high to help the Utes outlast their Pac-12 counterparts - UCLA (15-2) now has two losses in their past three games

  • NCAAW | #4 Kansas State 58, #13 Baylor 55: Dreuna Edwards (11 PTS, 9 REB) and the Bears led by as many as 12 in the first half, but Serena Sundell (16 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST) and the Wildcats outscored Baylor 14-8 in both the 3rd and 4th quarter to survive, extending their winning streak to 13 games

See the full men’s scoreboard here and the current rankings here. See the full women’s scoreboard here and the current rankings here.

🏀 Men’s College Hoops Catch-Up

Photo: Hungry Huskies | Source: USA Today

We’re already three months into the college basketball season, and things are starting to heat up. In the last two weeks, we’ve seen 15 top-10 upsets in men’s hoops, so we’re here to get you caught up on who’s surging and who’s sliding amid the madness. Pay attention, because before you know it, it’ll be March.

Recent Top-10 Upsets

Note: Rankings reflect the AP Poll at the time of the upset

  • Jan. 9: Nebraska 88, #1 Purdue 72

  • Jan. 9: Iowa State 57, #2 Houston 53

  • Jan. 10: UCF 65, #3 Kansas 60

  • Jan. 10: Mississippi State 77, #5 Tennessee 72

  • Jan. 10: TCU 80, #9 Oklahoma 71

  • Jan. 13: TCU 68, #2 Houston 67

  • Jan. 13: Texas A&M 97, #6 Kentucky 92 (OT)

  • Jan. 13: Washington State 73, #8 Arizona 70

  • Jan. 14: Maryland 76, #10 Illinois 67

  • Jan. 16: Kansas State, #9 Baylor 64 (OT)

  • Jan. 18: South Florida 74, #10 Memphis 73

  • Jan. 20: West Virginia 91, #3 Kansas 85

  • Jan. 20: Pittsburgh 80, #7 Duke 76

  • Jan. 20: Texas 75, #9 Baylor 73

  • Jan. 21: Tulane 81, #10 Memphis 79

Who’s Hot

  • #8 Auburn (16-2): After a loss to Appalachian State on Dec. 3 dropped them to 5-2, the Tigers have reeled off 11 straight dubs, climbing from unranked to No. 8 in the polls. They hold sole possession of first place in the SEC, and their defense has been dominant. Auburn is allowing nearly 10 fewer points per 100 possessions in conference play than any other SEC team, and through five league games, they rank first in two-point percentage defense (39.9), three-point percentage defense (26.7), and are forcing the highest turnover rate (22.1).

  • #1 UConn (17-2): Among the current top seven ranked teams, UConn and North Carolina are the only clubs who haven’t lost since Jan. 10. The defending champs haven’t dropped a game in over a month and are now atop the AP Poll for the first time since 2009. They have the third-highest KenPom ranking in adjusted offensive efficiency per 100 possessions (125.9) and went 5-0 in the absence of future NBA lottery pick Donovan Clingan, a 7’2” center who recently returned after missing four weeks with a foot injury.

  • #3 North Carolina (16-3): Not only have the Tar Heels won nine consecutive games, but they’ve also been perhaps the most steady team in the country. North Carolina’s the only remaining unbeaten team in ACC play, and they’ve won their eight conference games by an average of 15.9 points, with their smallest margin of victory coming in a 78-70 win over Florida State. Outside of an 11-point defeat to UConn in early December, their other two losses have come by a combined six points (Villanova: 83-81, #6 Kentucky: 87-83).

  • #16 Dayton (15-2): The Flyers are flaming! Following a 3-2 start to the season, Dayton has notched 12 wins in a row thanks to some lethal shooting from beyond the arc. They’re the fourth-best three-point shooting team in the land (40.8%) and haven’t lost since Nov. 19. Their top-three leading scorers are all hitting north of 43% from downtown, including G Koby Brea, who has made 51 threes at a 49.5% clip.

  • Honorable Mentions: #5 Tennesse, #6 Kentucky, #13 Wisconsin, #20 Texas Tech

Who’s Not

  • #15 Baylor (14-4): The Bears fell nine spots in the AP Poll following back-to-back losses to Michigan State and Duke in December but re-entered the top 10 two weeks ago thanks to five straight wins. However, they’re now riding another two-game skid after narrow defeats to Kansas State and Texas. Baylor is shooting 40.9% from three-point land this season, the third-best percentage in the country, but went a combined 32.6% in their four losses. Live by the three, die by three. A volatile strategy in a deep Big 12 conference that features seven teams ranked in the top 25.

  • #14 Marquette (13-5): Last year’s Big East champions have struggled to find their footing this season and are just 4-3 in their last seven outings with losses to Providence, Seton Hall, and Butler. They began the year at 5-0, peaking at No. 3 in the polls, but have failed to string together four straight wins since then. Reigning Big East Player of the Year G Tyler Kolek has been up and down, and the Golden Eagles ranked outside the top 100 in scoring offense at 77.2 points per game.

  • #7 Kansas (16-3): The Jayhawks held the No. 2 ranking for five consecutive weeks but have now dropped two of their last five games with unranked losses to UCF and West Virginia. Saturday’s 91-85 head-scratcher at the hands of the Mountaineers marked the most points Kansas has allowed all season and leaves them at 4-2 in Big 12 play. With that said, a slight blip in a loaded conference won’t be the end of the world for Bill Self’s squad if they can right the ship, and a win last night over Cincinnati was a good start.

  • Honorable Mentions: #4 Houston, #11 Oklahoma, #19 Memphis, Virginia, Michigan

See the current AP Top 25 here and the conference standings here.

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Which player held the 76ers’ single-game scoring record before Joel Embiid broke it last night?

A. Joel Embiid

B. Allen Iverson

C. Julius Erving

D. Wilt Chamberlain

Photo: Chiefs beat Bills, 2022 | The Athletic

On January 23, 2022, the Chiefs beat the Bills 42-36 in the AFC Divisional Round in a legendary OT-thriller. I’m sorry, Buffalo, but it's hard not to give this classic a shoutout. The game had four lead changes, and 25 points were scored in the final two minutes of regulation. After finding the endzone on their opening drive, the Bills didn't regain the lead until late in the 4th quarter when Gabe Davis caught a touchdown from Josh Allen to go up 29-26 with 1:54 remaining. Patrick Mahomes responded with a 64-yard TD pass to Tyreek Hill with 1:02 left to regain control, but the Bills' next possession ended in another touchdown pass from Allen to Davis, giving them a 36-33 lead with just 13 ticks to play. However, Mahomes then led the Chiefs on a two-play, 44-yard drive, which set up a game-tying, 48-yard field goal from Harrison Butker to force overtime. Kansas City received the opening kickoff in OT after winning the coin toss, and Travis Kelce caught an eight-yard score to secure the victory without Allen and the Bills ever touching the ball. The Chiefs also beat Buffalo one year prior in the 2021 AFC Championship, meaning their win on Sunday marked the third time that they've eliminated the Bills in the playoffs in the past four seasons - the game also led to the NFL changing the postseason overtime rules, which now guarantees both teams get one possession… watch the 90-second highlights here.

NBA

  • Denver Nuggets @ Indiana Pacers 7:00pm ET, Local

  • New York Knicks @ Brooklyn Nets 7:30pm ET, TNT

  • Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers 10:00pm ET, TNT

  • Full Schedule

NHL

  • Dallas Stars @ Detroit Red Wings 7:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Vegas Golden Knights @ New York Islanders 7:30pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Columbus Blue Jackets @ Edmonton Oilers 9:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Full Schedule

College Basketball

  • NCAAM: Texas @ #11 Oklahoma 7:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAM: Michigan @ #2 Purdue 9:00pm ET, Peacock

  • NCAAM: TCU @ Oklahoma State 9:00pm ET, ESPN2

  • NCAAM: Full Schedule

  • NCAAW: #8 UConn @ Marquette 7:00pm ET, Local

  • NCAAW: Full Schedule

ATP Australian Open - Quarterfinals

  • Women’s: Linda Noskova vs. Dayana Yastremska 8:00pm ET, ESPN2

  • Men’s: #3 Daniil Medvedev vs. #9 Hubert Hurkacz 9:30pm ET, ESPN2

Grab $20 off tickets to your favorite games, concerts and events using code TORCH20 at Vivid Seats - Promo is for first-time buyers and orders over $200!

Trivia Time Answer

D. Wilt Chamberlain. Hint: If there’s ever a trivia question regarding scoring records, Wilt’s probably the answer! Before Embiid’s 70-point performance last night, Chamberlain held the 76ers’ single-game scoring record with 68 points in a win against the Bulls on Dec. 16, 1967. “Wilt the Stilt” also had 65 and 62-point games during his time in Philadelphia, followed by Allen Iverson’s 60-point performance against the Magic in 2005 - entering Monday, Embiid’s career-high was 59 points (Nov. 13, 2022, against the Jazz).

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