Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons should be ready to play when the NBA season resumes.

Simmons missed eight games due to a nerve impingement in his lower back before the 2019-20 campaign was paused amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The point guard was at that time set to be re-evaluated in three weeks, putting his availability for a late-season playoff push into question.

Sixers general manager Elton Brand now believes he will be able to suit up. 

"I'm very optimistic he'll be able to play, if and when, we're given that green light to resume," Brand said on a conference call on Tuesday.

The NBA leader in steals with 115, Simmons has been allowed to rehab at the 76ers' practice facility and Brand has been encouraged by his progress.

The next step is for Simmons to move on to three-on-three and five-on-five work, but those scrimmages will not be permitted until social distancing restrictions are lifted. 

"I give Ben and our medical staff a ton of credit for their hard work throughout his recovery," Brand said.

"I give Ben so much credit for him working so hard throughout this unknown time. Fortunately, we've able to arrange for him to continue to get the treatment and rehab he needs during this hiatus. 

''When I FaceTime him during his workouts and his treatments and I see him, I'd be highly encouraged." 

A two-time All-Star, the 23-year-old Simmons was in the midst of another excellent season before being sidelined, averaging 16.7 points, 8.2 assists, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals.

He has been instrumental to Philadelphia's success, as the 76ers are 33-21 when Simmons plays and 6-5 when he does not.

The Sixers were tied with the Indiana Pacers for fifth place in the Eastern Conference when the season was shut down, and Simmons' return would be key to a playoff run. 

''We've taken our time, we've been methodical and thoughtful about his recovery and rehab, just to make sure, because we weren't in a rush,'' Brand said.

''It's hard to speculate. He's been working hard and I know he'd be close or ready.'' 

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star duo Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons "can fit together", according to former team-mate JJ Redick.

76ers center Embiid and guard Simmons have been the subjects of endless questions about their chemistry, with repeated claims that the pair cannot play together for Philadelphia due to contrasting styles.

Reports have also claimed the 76ers could deal one of the players in pursuit of a title, with big man Embiid apparently seen as the most likely to be moved on should Philadelphia explore a trade.

Redick knows Embiid and Simmons better than most, having spent two seasons playing alongside the pair before joining the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019.

"They are both incredibly intelligent, and I'm always betting on guys that are smart enough to figure things out. And they will," Redick told The Athletic.

"The numbers kinda say that, when they're on the court together, they do pretty good: 2018, pretty good; 2019, pretty good; 2020, still pretty good, but not as good right?

"I don't think they're changing, so maybe the people around them are changing. That, to me, just goes back to the right fit and the right pieces.

"I think that they [Embiid and Simmons] can fit together, for sure."

Redick's time in Philadelphia was successful, his shooting – especially from three-point range – helping the 76ers reach the Eastern Conference semi-finals last season.

Since leaving Wells Fargo Center, Redick has seen 76ers head coach Brett Brown heavily criticised amid doubts over his future after Philadelphia struggled for consistency, particularly on the road, prior to the postponement of the NBA due to coronavirus.

While boasting an NBA-best 29-2 home record, the 76ers were 10-24 away from home to be sixth in the Eastern Conference.

The 35-year-old guard said: "I would love to play for Brett again. It's always easy to blame certain people. I don't think Brett is the problem, if there [even] is a problem.

"He is incredibly thorough, incredibly detailed. The thing that I always appreciated, maybe the most, about Brett is how thoughtful he is. There is a purpose to team meetings. There is a purpose to film sessions. There's a purpose to practice. There's a purpose to walk-through. There's a purpose to your daily schedule.

"Everything is so thought-out and meticulous. It's, I think, one of the main reasons that he's who he is as a coach and has gotten to this level."

Ben Simmons will spend at least another three weeks on the sidelines with a back injury.

All-Star point guard Simmons was forced off in the first quarter of the Philadelphia 76ers' defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks on February 22.

He has missed Philadelphia's past seven games and is set to sit out the next 11, with his next assessment to take place two weeks before the end of the regular season, the team have confirmed.

A 76ers statement read: "Ben Simmons (nerve impingement, lower back) continues to progress in his rehabilitation.

"He is receiving daily treatment and is gradually increasing the activities in his strength and conditioning programme. He will be re-evaluated in three weeks."

Simmons' injury has combined with a shoulder problem for Joel Embiid, leaving Philadelphia without their two leading players for their past five games. The Sixers went 2-3 in that stretch.

Starting shooting guard Josh Richardson also missed their past three outings while he progressed through the NBA's concussion protocols.

However, Embiid was questionable to return against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, while Richardson was cleared to play.

Brett Brown's team went into the game with the Pistons sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 38-26 record.

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown is convinced All-Star duo Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will win an NBA championship together.

76ers center Embiid and guard Simmons have been the subjects of endless questions about their chemistry, with repeated claims that the pair cannot play together for Philadelphia due to contrasting styles.

Reports have also claimed the 76ers could deal one of the players in pursuit of a title, with big man Embiid apparently seen as the most likely to be moved on should Philadelphia explore a trade.

But Brown believes Embiid and Simmons can lead the 76ers – who have not won the NBA since 1983 – to glory.

"I personally am convinced those two are going to win a championship at some point in their career and that they, for sure, can coexist," Brown told reporters on Monday.

"The myth is that they can't. I think that is so abused and not articulated the way I see it."

Brown, speaking ahead of Tuesday's clash against the Los Angeles Lakers, added: "We played an exciting style and they coexisted just fine.

"It always goes down to surrounding cast and style of play and willingness to coexist and the acknowledgement they need each other. They need each other."

"Do your homework and look at pairings that have won and when they win. You aren't going to see many that are 23 and 26," he continued. "Sometimes it takes a little bit of time.

"These guys are actually in a position where they can do some really special things. How do we surround them with the resources to be able to do that?"

Embiid is averaging 23.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game for the 76ers this season, while Simmons is averaging 16.7 points, 8.2 assists and 7.8 rebounds.

The 76ers are sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 37-24 record, behind the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks (52-9), Toronto Raptors (42-18), Boston Celtics (41-18), Miami Heat (39-22) and Indiana Pacers (37-24).

The Philadelphia 76ers lost Ben Simmons to injury in another NBA road defeat on Saturday, while the Miami Heat paid tribute to Dwyane Wade.

Simmons left a 119-98 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first quarter after aggravating an existing back problem and will reportedly undergo an MRI on Sunday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo relished his fellow All-Star's absence, putting up 31 points and 17 rebounds in a double-double that condemned Philadelphia to a sixth successive away loss.

The 76ers (35-22) sit fifth in the Eastern Conference, one place behind the Heat (36-20) following their 124-105 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The win added to a memorable occasion as Miami welcomed former favourite Wade back to AmericanAirlines Arena, officially retiring the number three jersey he wore during the team's NBA championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013.

Wade, 38, retired at the end of last season after returning to the Heat for his career swansong.

 

Harden hot in valuable Houston victory

James Harden hit a game-high 38 points while Russell Westbrook went 14-of-26 for 34 points as the Houston Rockets topped the Utah Jazz 120-110.

The Jazz struggled to handle Houston's small-ball approach and are now level with the Rockets at 36-20.

Kawhi Leonard tallied 31 points and eight rebounds but the Los Angeles Clippers lost for the third time in as many games, going down to the Sacramento Kings 112-103.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks overcame a nine-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to beat the Dallas Mavericks 111-107.

Trae Young and John Collins each recorded double-doubles to inspire the Hawks to their 17th win of a lean campaign.

 

Kawhi a lone performer for cold Clippers

Leonard did his part against the Kings at Staples Center but the reigning MVP had little help from his fellow Clippers starters, all of whom failed to reach double figures for points.

Reggie Jackson and Landry Shamet were particularly culpable, the pair making just three of their combined 12 three-point attempts.

 

Bam drops the hammer

Fresh from winning the Skills Challenge on NBA All-Star Weekend, Heat big man Bam Adebayo put on another show with a huge dunk against the Cavaliers.

 

Saturday's results

Sacramento Kings 112-103 Los Angeles Clippers
Brooklyn Nets 115-86 Charlotte Hornets
Atlanta Hawks 111-107 Dallas Mavericks
Miami Heat 124-105 Cleveland Cavaliers
Phoenix Suns 112-104 Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks 119-98 Philadelphia 76ers
Houston Rockets 120-110 Utah Jazz

 

Celtics at Lakers

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers entertain Jayson Tatum's Boston Celtics in the pick of Sunday's seven games.

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid said he loves playing alongside team-mate Ben Simmons and believes the pair can "accomplish something special" with the franchise.

Embiid and guard Simmons have been the subjects of endless questions about their chemistry, with repeated claims that the All-Star duo cannot play together for the 76ers due to contrasting styles.

There have also been reports the 76ers – fifth in the Eastern Conference as they eye a championship – could deal one of their stars at the end of the season, with Embiid more likely to be moved on should Philadelphia explore a trade, according to ESPN.

Quizzed on what everyone is asking him, 76ers center Embiid rolled his eyes as he told ESPN: "'Can they play together, do they had each other?'

"I mean, at the end of the day, we know what we go to do. I love playing with him. He is a special talent.

"He helps us a lot. We can accomplish something special."

Embiid, who posted a season-high 39 points and 16 rebounds against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, is averaging 23.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for the 76ers in 2019-20.

Simmons, meanwhile, is averaging 16.9 points, 8.3 assists and 7.9 rebounds.

Team LeBron defeated Team Giannis 157-155 in the revamped NBA All-Star Game in Chicago on Sunday.

Unlike previous years, every quarter counted in the name of charity at the United Center, where the new format was unveiled for the showpiece event.

Each of the first three quarters started with the score at 0-0 and lasted the standard 12 minutes, with the game clock turned off for the final period and a final target score set.

The cumulative score of the first three quarters was 133-124 in favour of Team Giannis. The final target score was set by taking the leading team's cumulative score and adding 24 – the 24 representing Kobe Bryant's jersey number.

LeBron James and his team earned bragging rights in the 69th edition of the All-Star Game – hometown hero and Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis (20 points) making one of two free throws to beat Giannis Antetokounmpo's side.

While Davis scored the winning point, Kawhi Leonard (30 points) received the All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award, renamed in honour of the five-time NBA champion.

Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others last month, was honoured prior to tip-off.

Magic Johnson led an eight-second moment of silence for Lakers legend Bryant and former commissioner David Stern as both All-Star teams came together to hold hands, before delivering a heartfelt speech.

Team LeBron made a fast start, outscoring Team Giannis 53-41 in the first period before the latter won the second period 51-30.

Neither team could be split in the third, though Team Giannis went into the fourth quarter leading Team LeBron – who rallied to win for the third successive year.

James and Chris Paul finished with 23 points each, while Ben Simmons (17) and James Harden (11) were also in double-digits for Team LeBron.

Team Giannis were led by Antetokounmpo (25 points, 11 rebounds), Joel Embiid (22 points, 10 rebounds), Kemba Walker (23 points) and Rudy Gobert (21 points, 11 rebounds).

A Ben Simmons triple-double inspired the Philadelphia 76ers to a 110-103 victory at home to Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA.

Simmons posted his second successive triple-double, finishing with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the 76ers in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

It was his sixth triple-double of the season and 30th of his career as the 76ers – who already boast the NBA's best home record at 25-2 – won their third straight to improve to 34-21 for the campaign.

Josh Richardson scored 17 of his 21 points in the final quarter, while Joel Embiid contributed 26 points at Wells Fargo Center.

Clippers superstar Leonard had 30 points for the visitors, who fell to 37-17 in the Western Conference.

Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets snapped the Boston Celtics' seven-game winning streak.

James Harden registered 42 points and Russell Westbrook had 36 points to go with 10 rebounds as the Rockets trumped the Celtics 116-105 in Houston.

Gordon Hayward top scored with 20 points for the Celtics against the Rockets, who ended a run of back-to-back losses.

 

Zion stars as Pelicans soar

Zion Williamson produced another dominant performance. The star rookie had a season-high 31 points and nine rebounds in just 28 minutes as the New Orleans Pelicans topped the Portland Trail Blazers 138-117.

Zach LaVine put up 41 points but the Chicago Bulls still lost 126-114 at the Washington Wizards, who were led by Bradley Beal's 30.

The San Antonio Spurs snapped a five-game skid by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-106 thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge's 25 points and 14 rebounds.

 

George struggles in Philadelphia

Paul George never got going against the 76ers. The Clippers star was just three of 15 from the field and one of four from three-point range for 11 points in 35 minutes. He did have 12 rebounds for a double-double, but it was far from George's usual best.

After back-to-back games of 30 or more points off the bench, Furkan Korkmaz was drafted into Philadelphia's starting five at the expense of Al Horford. However, Korkmaz had a game to forget. In 23 minutes, he was scoreless – 0 of five from the field, while he missed all four of his attempts from beyond the arc.

 

Simmons… somehow

The Australian All-Star put on a show in Philadelphia. This incredible piece of improvisation sent the 76ers on their way.

 

Tuesday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 110-103 Los Angeles Clippers
Washington Wizards 126-114 Chicago Bulls
New Orleans Pelicans 138-117 Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs 114-106 Oklahoma City Thunder
Houston Rockets 116-105 Boston Celtics

 

Raptors at Nets

Riding a franchise-record winning streak, NBA champions the Toronto Raptors (40-14) will look to make it 16 straight victories when they visit the Brooklyn Nets (24-28) on Wednesday. The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers are also in action.

Ben Simmons accused the Philadelphia 76ers of being "soft" after Jimmy Butler inspired the Miami Heat to a resounding 137-106 victory on Monday.

Butler was ruthless against his former team, finishing with 14 of 20 from the field, sinking two of two from the three-point line and all eight of his free throws in 29 minutes at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The 30-year-old's points tally of 38 was a season's best as the 76ers suffered their heaviest defeat of a three-game losing streak.

"We were soft," said Simmons, who had a game-high four turnovers. "The physicality side of things, we gotta step that up. That comes with experience, also just comes with personality.

"Don't get bullied. Fight over screens, get through screens. If you gotta knock somebody over, knock 'em over. If you gotta hit somebody in the face and knock 'em down so they don't score, hit 'em in the face."

"Our defense was poor," accepted 76ers coach Brett Brown. "When you create three turnovers for a game, it's just not a reflection of who we are.

"I think we're the third or the fourth-best defensive team in the NBA. And we weren't even close to that tonight."

Miami had only three turnovers throughout, a joint-lowest number for any side in the NBA this season, as they improved to 34-15.

"I'm never worried about offense," said Butler. "Hell, I'm never worried about defense. All I'm ever worried about is winning."

Trae Young almost single-handedly stunned the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA on Thursday, while the Los Angeles Clippers paid tribute to Kobe Bryant.

Named an All-Star starter ahead of Ben Simmons, 21-year-old guard Young outshone his fellow Eastern Conference star as the Atlanta Hawks topped the 76ers 127-117.

Young had a double-double before the first quarter ended and finished with 39 points and a career-high 18 assists in the upset, while Simmons went 10-of-15 from the field for a team-high 31 points.

The Clippers set rivalries aside before their clash with the Sacramento Kings to honour Los Angeles Lakers legend Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the other seven people killed in Sunday's helicopter crash.

Paul George narrated a moving video that was broadcast before 24 seconds of silence while Bryant's old Lakers jerseys, normally covered during Clippers games at Staples Center, were left visible.

Sacramento went on to win 124-103 as Kawhi Leonard, who was involved in the warm-up, failed to play a minute due to lower back tightness.

 

Tatum makes successful Celtics comeback

Jayson Tatum returned after three games out with a groin injury and celebrated his first All-Star nod in fitting fashion, contributing 20 points, six rebounds and two assists as the Boston Celtics topped the Golden State Warriors 119-104.

Nikola Jokic delivered 28 points and 10 assists to drag the injury hit Denver Nuggets to a 106-100 victory against the fast-finishing Utah Jazz, who were led by Jordan Clarkson's 37 points.

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal proved a point to those who overlooked him for a place in the All-Star Game in Chicago, posting 34 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a 121-107 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

 

Clippers cold after losing Kawhi

The Clippers did not officially rule two-time NBA champion Leonard out of their game against the Kings until midway through the contest.

His absence seemed to unnerve the rest of the team, who combined to shoot just 35-of-92 from the field.

 

Sweet slam a consolation for Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers were at least able to enjoy a monster Larry Nance Jr. dunk as they suffered a 115-109 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

 

Thursday's results

Toronto Raptors 115-109 Cleveland Cavaliers
Washington Wizards 121-107 Charlotte Hornets
Atlanta Hawks 127-117 Philadelphia 76ers
Boston Celtics 119-104 Golden State Warriors
Sacramento Kings 124-103 Los Angeles Clippers
Denver Nuggets 106-100 Utah Jazz

 

Trail Blazers at Lakers

Staples Center will be the scene for another emotional outpouring on Friday as the Lakers (36-10) hit the floor for the first time since Bryant's death. The Western Conference leaders take on Carmelo Anthony and the Portland Trail Blazers (21-27).

Devin Booker was the most notable omission as six first-timers won NBA All-Star selection among the 14 reserves named on Thursday.

Jimmy Butler, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook headlined the list of players selected by NBA coaches to round out the roster options for Team LeBron and Team Giannis.

Phoenix Suns guard Booker was denied a place despite averaging 27.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.4 assists through 44 games this season.

Oklahoma City Thunder veteran Paul, Houston Rockets star Westbrook, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz youngster Donovan Mitchell snatched Western Conference guard spots, the latter handed his maiden selection alongside team-mate and fellow first-timer Rudy Gobert.

Brandon Ingram, Bam Adebayo, Jayson Tatum and Domantas Sabonis will also be among the newcomers at United Center in Chicago on February 16.

Suns general manager and three-time NBA champion James Jones questioned Booker's absence.

"I've played with and against multiple All-Stars in this league and Devin Booker is undoubtedly an NBA All-Star," Jones said in a statement.

Frenchman Gobert's inclusion alongside Sabonis (Lithuania), Ben Simmons (Australia) and Nikola Jokic (Serbia) plus starters Luka Doncic (Slovenia), Joel Embiid (Cameroon), Pascal Siakam (Cameroon) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) lifts the number of international players to eight, a record for an All-Star Game.

The 2020 edition will feature several format changes to honour Kobe Bryant after the Los Angeles Lakers legend, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Among them will be a 'target score' to chase in a timeless fourth quarter, the figure being the leading team's tally after three periods plus 24 points - representing the number Bryant wore during the second half of his glittering NBA career.

LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks forward Antetokounmpo, the designated captains, will select their teams from the available player pool on February 6.

 

Eastern Conference reserves:

Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers), Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)

Western Conference reserves:

Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)

LeBron James was left struggling to comprehend the "crazy" journey that led to him surpassing Kobe Bryant's all-time NBA points tally on Saturday.

Los Angeles Lakers star James leapfrogged the retired Bryant into third among the competition's most prolific scorers when he completed a layup in the third quarter of a 108-91 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Though the result somewhat spoiled the milestone, James spoke after the game in detail about his admiration for Bryant and recounted his earliest meetings with the retired Lakers great.

The formative encounters included a brush at a youth basketball camp at age 15 and receiving a pair of shoes from the eventual five-time NBA champion at the 2002 All-Star Game.

"It's too much. The story, it's too much. It doesn't make sense," James told reporters when asked about overtaking Bryant.

"To make a long story short, now I'm here in a Lakers uniform, in Philadelphia, where he's from, where I met him for one of the first times in All-Star week, it's surreal.

"It doesn't make sense, but the universe puts things in your life... things happen organically, and it's not supposed to make sense, but it just happens.

"I'm happy to be in any conversation with Kobe Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players, one of the all-time greatest Lakers. The man's got two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It's just crazy."

The 35-year-old found it easier to sum up his appreciation for Ben Simmons, who led the 76ers to victory at Wells Fargo Center with 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

James (29 points) said he looked forward to sitting courtside and observing Simmons when the time comes for him to join Bryant in retirement.

"That's pretty much how I'm going to be when I'm done playing," he said.

"Being able to come back and watch this beautiful game, hopefully there's somebody playing the game at a high level.

"Like that guy across the hallway, Ben Simmons, I can sit and watch him and see how much he continues to grow, watch him and see him continue to do what he does, because he's growing every day."

Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers ruined a memorable moment for Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, while the Utah Jazz defused Luka Doncic on Saturday.

Four-time MVP James passed Kobe Bryant and rose to third for all-time NBA points during the third quarter in Philadelphia, but the Lakers failed to crown the occasion in style as they lost 108-91.

Simmons stole the limelight, scoring 28 points on 12-of-15 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and eight assists.

The 76ers, still missing Joel Embiid, withstood a fourth-quarter Lakers recovery before sealing their fifth victory in six games.

The Dallas Mavericks, meanwhile, led for three quarters before collapsing to a 112-107 loss to the Jazz, who have now won four straight.

Rudy Gobert registered a double-double with 22 points and 17 rebounds, while Donovan Mitchell's 25-point haul included two clutch three-pointers in Utah's fourth-quarter comeback.

 

Irving ignites the Nets

Kyrie Irving snapped the Brooklyn Nets out of a five-game losing streak as he put up 45 points in 121-111 overtime win against the Detroit Pistons.

Brooklyn rallied back from a double-digit deficit to take a late lead, only for Derrick Rose to force an extra period with a brilliant finish at the basket with 1.9 seconds left on the clock.

The Nets, though, eventually pulled away in OT thanks to strong performances from Irving and Jarrett Allen (20 points, 15 rebounds).

Karl-Anthony Towns dropped 37 points but the Minnesota Timberwolves suffered a 113-104 defeat against the streaking Oklahoma City Thunder, while Zach LaVine (40 points, 10 rebounds) guided the Chicago Bulls to a 118-106 victory over the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Doncic goes cold beyond the arc

MVP candidate Doncic had 25 points for the Mavs but the new All-Star struggled from three-point range against the Jazz, hitting just two of his 10 attempts.

 

LeBron betters the Black Mamba

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928) were the only men left leading James (33,655) on the all-time points tally following his third-quarter layup at Wells Fargo Center.

 

Saturday's results

Utah Jazz 112-107 Dallas Mavericks
Brooklyn Nets 121-111 Detroit Pistons (OT)
Chicago Bulls 118-106 Cleveland Cavaliers
Oklahoma City Thunder 113-104 Minnesota Timberwolves
Philadelphia 76ers 108-91 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Rockets at Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets (31-14) have the chance to avenge Wednesday's road loss to the Houston Rockets (28-16) when the teams square off at Pepsi Center on Sunday.

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their heaviest loss of the NBA season on Monday, while Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard inspired victories with stunning performances.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis featured from the start but the Lakers never got going in a heavy 139-107 defeat to the Boston Celtics.

Jayson Tatum registered a game-high 27 points to help Celtics team-mate Kemba Walker celebrate his first career win against superstar James at the 29th attempt.

Joel Embiid's absence through injury failed to hurt the Philadelphia 76ers as Simmons shone in a 117-111 road victory over the slumping Brooklyn Nets.

Simmons enjoyed one of the best games of his career, posting a triple-double with 34 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists, plus five steals.

There was similar joy elsewhere for Damian Lillard, who erupted for a career-best 61 points – including 11 three-pointers – as the Portland Trail Blazers overcame the Golden State Warriors 129-124 in an overtime thriller.

 

Westbrook heroics not enough as OKC complete comeback

Russell Westbrook's 32 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds went unrewarded as the Houston Rockets squandered a big lead to lose 112-107 to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Rockets were overrun after taking a 16-point advantage into the fourth quarter, as Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari shared 53 points for OKC.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (28 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists) also recorded a triple-double, the reigning MVP reaching 10,000 career points as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls 111-98.

The Miami Heat resumed their charge in the Eastern Conference, outlasting the Sacramento Kings 118-113 in overtime.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, the Denver Nuggets bounced back to winning ways, topping the Timberwolves 107-100 thanks to double-doubles from Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr.

 

Lowry misses out in Atlanta

The Toronto Raptors claimed a 122-117 win against the Atlanta Hawks but it was still a game to forget for five-time All Star Kyle Lowry, who went three-of-11 from the floor and missed each of his five three-point attempts.

 

Brown posterises LeBron!

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown had 20 points and a huge dunk on an NBA superstar at TD Garden.

Monday's results

San Antonio Spurs 120-118 Phoenix Suns
Portland Trail Blazers 129-124 Golden State Warriors (OT)
Utah Jazz 118-88 Indiana Pacers
Washington Wizards 106-100 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 122-117 Atlanta Hawks
Philadelphia 76ers 117-111 Brooklyn Nets
Miami Heat 118-113 Sacramento Kings (OT)
Milwaukee Bucks 111-98 Chicago Bulls
Oklahoma City Thunder 112-107 Houston Rockets
Orlando Magic 106-83 Charlotte Hornets
New Orleans Pelicans 126-116 Memphis Grizzlies
New York Knicks 106-86 Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston Celtics 139-107 Los Angeles Lakers
Denver Nuggets 107-100 Minnesota Timberwolves

 

Clippers at Mavericks

Kristaps Porzingis could return from a knee injury when the Dallas Mavericks (27-15) entertain the Los Angeles Clippers (30-13) in Tuesday's only game.

Brett Brown heaped praise on Ben Simmons after the Philadelphia 76ers star's "incredible" triple-double display against the Brooklyn Nets.

Simmons posted 34 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in the 117-111 win at Barclays Center on Monday.

The performance continued a fine run of form that has come at the right time for the 76ers, who remain without Joel Embiid after the All-Star center underwent surgery on his injured left hand on Friday.

"Ben was ridiculously dominant tonight," 76ers coach Brown told reporters after beating Brooklyn.

"He played some four, I played him at five, he had the ball. He was just multi-skilled, used all over the place in multiple positions. Ball handler, screen setter, post target, he was on the five man defensively.

"He was just incredible."

Simmons was earlier named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, having impressed throughout what is now a four-game winning streak.

"I'm just trying to win," the Australian told NBC in an on-court interview. "I know Joel is out so a lot of guys have got to step up. I take a lot of responsibility, just being a leader.

"Offensively I've got to pick it up, so I'm glad we could get this one."

Philadelphia return to action on Wednesday in a road game against the Toronto Raptors.

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