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Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid combine for 'best game', says 76ers coach Brett Brown

Associated Press/Sky Sports NBA

Wednesday 12 February 2020 07:37, UK

Ben Simmons encourages team-mate Joel Embiid during the 76ers' win over the Clippers
Image: Ben Simmons encourages team-mate Joel Embiid during the 76ers' win over the Clippers

Sixers coach Brett Brown said Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons combined to great effect to lead Philadelphia to a statement home win against the LA Clippers.

Embiid supplied 26 points and nine rebounds while Simmons produced a 26-point, 12-rebound, 10-assist triple-double as the 76ers rolled to a 110-103 victory at Wells Fargo Center, improving their league-best home record to 25-2.

The Sixers opened the second half with a 16-5 run, taking a 70-59 lead. Simmons, Embiid and Glenn Robinson III combined for 14 of the 16.

Ben Simmons celebrates a basket in the 76ers' win over the Clippers 2:00
Ben Simmons starred with a triple-double as the Philadelphia 76ers defended their homecourt against the LA Clippers

"It's arguably the best game those two have paired up with since I've been here," Brown said of Simmons and Embiid.
Simmons took 22 shots, just two short of tying his career-best set as a rookie in 2017. Brown moved him around, giving him opportunities away from the ball.

"I just love being a player. I don't put myself at any one position because I'm so versatile," Simmons said.

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Embiid heard some boos mixed in with loud cheers when he was introduced. The All-Star center shushed the crowd and screamed an expletive following a shot on Sunday after the team were barracked by their own fans.

He exacerbated the situation with a social media post on Monday and a friendly exchange with Jimmy Butler, hinting he might join his former team-mate who now plays for Miami.

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But it was all love for Embiid in the fourth quarter after he and Marcus Morris got into a shoving match. Embiid did a shimmy for fans and got a loud ovation.

"I could have shushed them again but it was all about having fun," Embiid said. "If you dish it, you gotta take it back. But I love my city. We have a special relationship."

Josh Richardson celebrates a three-pointer during the 76ers' win against the Clippers
Image: Josh Richardson celebrates a three-pointer during the 76ers' win against the Clippers

Simmons and Embiid kept the Philadelphia 76ers close until Josh Richardson took over.

Richardson scored 17 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to help the Sixers to victory.

"In the fourth quarter, I started attacking more," Richardson said. "I was reading the defense. Coach put the ball in my hands and gave me the freedom to read it and attack. It's great. I itch for moments like that. In close games, we all want to be part of that positive effort and I had a part of it."

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Richardson nailed his third three-pointer of the fourth quarter to give Philadelphia a 102-94 lead with 4:44 left. Then he scored on a driving left-handed lay-up and made the free throw to complete the three-point play, extending the lead to 11. His free throw made it 110-100 with 1:15 remaining after the Clippers cut the deficit to single digits.

Sixers coach Brown credited Richardson's ability to run the pick-and-roll and spell Simmons at point guard for helping the team pull away from Los Angeles.

"Him being a leader and coming to life has a lot to do with some of those other things," Brown said.

Kawhi Leonard lofts a scoop shot against the 76ers 2:58
Highlights of the LA Clippers' visit to the Philadelphia 76ers in Week 17 of the NBA season

Kawhi Leonard led Los Angeles with 30 points, and reserve Landry Shamet scored 19 against his former team.

"I thought we lost the game because we didn't play with any continuity offensively," coach Doc Rivers said.

"We didn't make shots (in the fourth quarter)," Leonard said. "(Richardson) got to the paint, made some big threes for them. He made shots."

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