Simmons' Masterclass Torches Hornets

The Aussie rookie stars again

Simmons' Masterclass Torches Hornets Getty Images

Ben Simmons has maintained his electric form with a masterclass of a performance to lift the Philadelphia 76ers past Charlotte Hornets for a 10th successive NBA victory.

Simmons chalked up 20 points, 15 assists, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks to help the 76ers to a 119-102 win which improved their record to 46-30.

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Marco Belinelli added a team-best 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting off the bench for the Sixers.

The victory was the Sixers' first 10-game win streak since they started the season 10-0 in 2000-01. 

Philadelphia were playing without both Joel Embiid (eye) and Dario Saric (elbow) but Simmons was spectacular.

Early in the first quarter, he inbounded the ball to himself off Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's back and scored. 

Simmons finished the second quarter by taking a steal in for a reverse slam and entered halftime with 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals.

 

The Hornets used a 16-4 spurt to get within 72-71 but Simmons threw a crosscourt laser pass to a streaking Robert Covington for a layup, lobbed an inbound pass to the same player for a jam and then took an alley-oop from TJ McConnell for a reverse slam to cap a 14-0 run.

Starting for Embiid, veteran Amir Johnson did a nice job on Dwight Howard, who had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Kemba Walker was held to 10 points on 2-for-7 shooting.

Patty Mills had 14 points, five rebounds and four assists as the San Antonio Spurs won 100-83, keeping the Houston Rockets to their lowest-scoring game of the season in the process. 

LaMarcus Aldridge posted a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds and received complementary scoring from Rudy Gay with 21 off the bench.

James Harden paired 25 points with eight assists to pace the Rockets, who were without guard Chris Paul (rest).

While the Rockets have already sealed home-court advantage through the playoffs, the Spurs – who were without Kawhi Leonard once again - won to improve their shot at a top-four finish in the western conference.

AAP

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