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Simmons, 76ers survive NY's Day hiccup

The 76ers led the Clippers by as much as 24 points but stumbled in a NBA game where players were ejected and Ben Simmons hit teammate Joel Embiid with an elbow.

Simmons, 76ers survive NY's Day hiccup

The 76ers led the Clippers by as much as 24 points but stumbled in a NBA game where players were ejected and Ben Simmons hit teammate Joel Embiid with an elbow.

BEN SIMMONS #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers handles the ball during a NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
BEN SIMMONS #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers handles the ball during a NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. Picture:Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Just like a brutal New Year's Day hangover, the Los Angeles Clippers crept up and caused Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers plenty of pain.

The 76ers did hold on to defeat the Clippers 119-113 on Tuesday in LA but it was not pretty, involved a few angry confrontations and ended with Simmons doing the basketball equivalent of popping a bottle of champagne - an emphatic dunk.


"The day after New Year's," is how Simmons, who spent New Year's Eve with reality TV star girlfriend Kendall Jenner at an LA party hosted by rapper Drake, summed up the scrappy game.

The 76ers should have cruised to victory after leading by as much as 24 points and Simmons appeared set for his sixth triple-double of the season.

The game turned when tempers flared in the final quarter with 213cm tall 76ers centre Joel Embiid and 185cm Clippers guard Patrick Beverley appeared close to blows.

Then the 76ers' Jimmy Butler and Clippers' Avery Bradley were ejected after they battled for a rebound. Simmons came in and had to physically restrain them.

The Clippers then went on a 10-0 run.

"I think guys were a little frustrated," Simmons said.

Simmons also angered Embiid when they both went up for a rebound and the Australian accidentally elbowed his teammate in the face.

Last season Embiid suffered a face fracture when team-mate Markelle Fultz struck him in similar fashion.

"Coach tells me to crash the boards so I went to the boards," Simmons explained.

He had an opportunity to seal the game with 25.6 seconds left and his team clinging to a four point lead but he missed three consecutive free throws.

But Simmins did eventually extinguish the Clippers with the huge dunk in the final seconds.

He fell just short of the triple-double with 14 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Simmons has been criticised for not shooting from distance, but he said he plans to attempt more as the season continues.

He surprised with a jump shot from just inside the three point line in the first quarter that missed.

"I think we're going to see Ben Simmons incrementally embrace shooting in general and I think you are going to see his shot with more frequency and confidence over time," 76ers coach Brett Brown said.

The 76ers' Australian rookie Jonah Bolden also continued to take advantage of his growing court time with a strong nine points and six rebounds from 15 minutes of action.

Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard scored a career-high 45 points as the Toronto Raptors beat the Utah Jazz 122-116.

Brook Lopez had 25 points as Milwaukee cruised past Detroit 121-98 to boost the Bucks to an NBA-best record of 26-10 with their eighth win in nine games.

Nikola Jokic had 19 points, 14 rebounds and 15 assists as the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets beat the New York Knicks 115-108.

Portland rallied after blowing a 14-point halftime lead to edge the Sacramento Kings 113-108 in overtime.

AAP


AAP




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