Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic and Pau Gasol were among those to pay tribute on Sunday as news broke of Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant's passing.

Bryant, 41, was one of nine people who lost their lives in a helicopter crash close to the city of Calabasas in Los Angeles County, California.

The Lakers icon's 13-year-old daughter Gianna also died in the incident.

A number of NBA players led tributes to Bryant, while others were involved in games on Sunday, with a moment's silence observed at the Denver Nuggets.

Philadelphia 76ers' Embiid was among the first to react, describing himself as "so freaking sad" as he reflected on the death of an inspirational star.

"Man I don't even know where to start," he wrote on Twitter. "I started playing ball because of KOBE after watching the 2010 finals.

"I had never watched ball before that and that finals was the turning point of my life. I WANTED TO BE LIKE KOBE. I'm so FREAKING SAD right now!!!! RIP LEGEND"

MVP candidate Luka Doncic uploaded a picture with Bryant's daughter, writing: "this is so sad! RIP"

Bryant's former Lakers team-mate Pau Gasol posted: "Beyond devastated... my big brother... I can’t, I just can't believe it."

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green simply posted: "Stunned!"

Similarly, the Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard wrote: "Wow."

Bryant was born in Philadelphia, and the Sixers were among the teams to post a statement in response to his death.

"The Philadelphia 76ers organisation mourns the losses of NBA icon Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and all of those who passed away tragically today in an accident in California," it read.

"Bryant, one of the most decorated players in NBA history and a global ambassador for the game, made an everlasting mark on our league.

"His determination, passion to win and fierce competitiveness fuelled the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships and inspired millions of people around the world. 

"Bryant's journey to icon status in the world of basketball included deep ties to the Philadelphia region, where he starred at Lower Merion High School from 1992-96.

As he honed his craft in Philadelphia, Bryant established a reputation as a player with once-in-a-lifetime poise, grit, heart and an unwavering love of the game.
 
"While his imprint on the game of basketball will be etched in the history books forever, Bryant will also be remembered for his love of his family, commitment to community through his philanthropic work, and for being an innovative leader in business.

"The 76ers organisation sends its sincerest condolences to Vanessa Bryant and the Bryant family during this incredibly difficult time.

"We also send our condolences to Jeanie Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers organisation and Kobe Bryant fans everywhere."

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will return as NBA All-Star team captains after leading the vote for February's showpiece contest in Chicago.

Three newcomers – Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Pascal Siakam – will also take the floor for the 69th edition of the annual exhibition game.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar James captained Team LeBron to victory over Team Giannis in 2019 and the pair will renew their rivalry at United Center on February 16.

James, an All-Star for the 16th year of his illustrious career, will have the chance to draft Dallas Mavericks sensation Doncic onto his team for the first time, the MVP contender a walk-up selection amid a brilliant sophomore season in the NBA.

All-Star regulars James Harden, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard round out the Western Conference starter pool.

Atlanta Hawks guard Young topped the count among Eastern Conference backcourt options to secure a start alongside the Boston Celtics' Kemba Walker.

The pair gained selection ahead of four-time All Star Jimmy Butler and the Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons, who scored poorly in the fan portion of the vote.

Siakam's selection comes after averaging a career-best 23.5 points per game for the Toronto Raptors this season, while injury troubles failed to prevent Joel Embiid from sealing a frontcourt berth.

Fan ballots were weighted at 50 per cent, while current players and the media contributed 25 per cent of the starter vote.

Captains James and Antetokounmpo will select their teams from the eight other starters, while NBA head coaches will be responsible for choosing the 14 reserves that will be announced on January 30.

 

Eastern Conference starters:

Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics), Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)

Western Conference starters:

James Harden (Houston Rockets), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers), LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)

Joel Embiid said "I'm trying to win a f***** title" as the Philadelphia 76ers star craves NBA glory following last season's heartbreaking playoff exit.

The 76ers are championship contenders in 2020 after re-signing Tobias Harris and adding Al Horford and Josh Richardson to a roster headlined by All-Stars Embiid and Ben Simmons.

Embiid is seen as the key to Philadelphia's title hopes and the popular center is hellbent on winning a ring after being left in tears when the 76ers suffered a buzzer-beating defeat to eventual champions the Toronto Raptors in last season's Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Recovering from a finger injury, Embiid – whose 76ers last won a championship in 1982-83 – wrote in The Players' Tribune: "You know, we all came into this year talking about how bad we want a title. We're pretty good at talking, myself included. But it's not enough just to talk it. You gotta walk it. You gotta bring it every single night. And that includes me, too. 

"Listen, I know it sucks that I'm out. Nobody feels worse than me about it. But it's just a finger. It's nothing. Compared to what I've been through, it's nothing man. 

"I'm going to be back. And we're going to get this thing right. And we're going to be a problem in the playoffs, I promise you. But I have to say it now — the one thing I'm not going to do is change who I am as a basketball player. 

"I got nothing but love for the legends of the game like Shaq [Shaquille O'Neal] and Charles [Barkley]. So I respect what they're saying about my game. But I'm never going to be the kind of traditional big like Shaq was in the '90s. You can't go down to the post every single time down the floor and have success in this league. Not in 2020. Not with the way the game has evolved. Not with the way teams double-team now. You have to be able to spread the floor and pass the ball and get buckets all over the court.

"It doesn't matter if you're a guard or a 7-footer, you need to be versatile to win in this league. You need to be unpredictable. Yes, I idolised guys like Dream [Hakeem Olajuwon]. I watched hours and hours of Dream every single day, literally. Everybody knows that story. But you know who I love watching now? KD [Kevin Durant], [James] Harden, even point guards like Steph [Curry] and CP3 [Chris Paul]. For me, that's where the game is the most interesting right now. 

"Above everything, I'm a student of the game. That's the only way I was able to pick it up in such a short amount of time. You can't just be a Big on the block anymore. You need to be a basketball player.

"If we're going to win a title, I gotta be a little bit of Dream, and a little bit of [Allen] Iverson, and a little bit of Kooooobeeeeeeeeeeeeee [Kobe Bryant]. That's the way I'm always going to see myself. 

"And I know you guys on TV want me to score 35 on the block every night. I know it. I hear you. But I gotta be honest with you. This isn't 1995. This is 2020. I'm not working every single day to be the next Dream. There's only one Dream. There's only one Shaq. I'm not trying to be the best Big ever. I'm trying to be the best basketball player in the league, and I really believe I can be that. 

"I'm done with the trash talking and the memes and all that. Once I'm holding that trophy in my hands, maybe I'll be back to my charming self. For now, I got one thing on my mind. I'm not trying to win a debate. I'm trying to win a f***** title."

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid will undergo surgery on Friday after suffering a torn radial collateral ligament in the fourth metacarpal in his left hand.

Embiid, who was already ruled out of Thursday's NBA showdown against Eastern Conference rivals the Boston Celtics, will be re-evaluated in 1-2 weeks.

The All-Star dislocated his left ring finger in the opening quarter of Monday's 120-113 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Embiid, however, continued and finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in Philadelphia.

"All of a sudden, we're different," 76ers head coach Brett Brown said prior to Thursday's game. "We're just different. I look at this as an opportunity.

"Nobody's crying. This is not a 'woe is me' moment, not for me, at all. And not for my players. We'll take what we have, and what we have, I love."

Embiid has been averaging 23.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for Eastern Conference contenders the 76ers (24-14) this season.

Joel Embiid will miss the Philadelphia 76ers' matchup against NBA rivals the Boston Celtics due to a finger injury.

Embiid was questionable for Thursday's clash after dislocating his finger in a 120-113 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

The All-Star dislocated his left ring finger in the opening quarter, however, he continued and finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Embiid has been averaging 23.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for Eastern Conference contenders the 76ers (24-14) this season.

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid said he could miss the upcoming NBA clash with the Boston Celtics due to a dislocated finger.

Embiid hurt his finger in Monday's 120-113 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder as the 76ers snapped a four-game losing streak.

All-Star Embiid dislocated his left ring finger in the opening quarter, however, he continued and finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Embiid, though, is questionable for Thursday's showdown against Eastern Conference rivals the Celtics at Wells Fargo Center.

"That's a possibility," Embiid said when asked if he could miss the game. "I want to play. It's a big game. Last time we played them we had great success, but at the end of the day whatever they want me to do. Obviously I'll try to fight it, but they care about me so whatever they want to do ... We'll see."

Embiid added: "They [medical staff] were just talking about the ligament. They're still figuring out what's next."

"It was pretty bad," Embiid continued. "I basically could only play with one hand. It was really bad. But in the midst of the losing streak I just wanted to make sure that I do everything possible to get us a win, and I was glad to get us a win.

"The consequences, you assume them later, but as the leader I wanted to go out and show your team-mates that you want to win and you're going to do whatever possible to do so."

76ers head coach Brett Brown hailed Embiid for returning to the court after sustaining the injury as Philadelphia returned to winning ways.

"For him to go back in and come back out and play, I was shocked I was able to come back out and play," Brown said. "That is a tough return to the court, that is a competitive statement.

"I appreciate him, I respect that, we needed to play well here at home, we haven't been on the right side of the win-loss column lately."

 

The Los Angeles Clippers claimed Christmas Day honours as neighbours the Los Angeles Lakers crashed to their fourth consecutive defeat in the NBA.

Kawhi Leonard starred with 35 points to lead the Clippers past the slumping Lakers 111-106 in the battle of LA on Wednesday.

Leonard scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and added 12 rebounds as the Clippers beat the Lakers for the second time this season, having also won on opening night.

The Lakers (24-7) led 63-51 at half-time but were outscored 60-43 by the Clippers (23-10) in the second half in Los Angeles.

Montrezl Harrell posted 18 points off the bench and Clippers team-mate Paul George contributed 17 at Staples Center midweek.

LeBron James, who returned from a muscle strain, put up 23 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for the beaten Lakers, while Kyle Kuzma led the way with his 25 points.

 

Embiid takes down Bucks

Joel Embiid was at his brilliant best with 31 points and 11 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers upstaged league leaders the Milwaukee Bucks 121-109. It was Embiid's seventh game of the season with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Ben Simmons added 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Jaylen Brown was 10 for 13 from the field and five-of-seven from three-point range for 30 points to inspire the Boston Celtics' 118-102 victory against defending champions the Toronto Raptors. Chris Boucher had 24 points off the bench for the Raptors.

Damion Lee's 22 points and a career-high 15 rebounds helped the Golden State Warriors past the Houston Rockets 116-104. It was Golden State's third straight win. Double-doubles from Russell Westbrook (30 points, 12 rebounds), James Harden (24 points, 11 assists) and Clint Capela (10 points, 11 rebounds) were not enough for the Rockets.

 

Giannis struggles from the floor

While Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds, it was a tough night for the reigning MVP. He was eight of 27 from the floor and 0 of seven from three-point range.

 

Beverley says no to LeBron!

Patrick Beverley produced a big defensive play as the Lakers tried to rally against the Clippers. James led the charge, but he was denied by the energetic Beverley.

 

Wednesday's results

Boston Celtics 118-102 Toronto Raptors
Philadelphia 76ers 121-109 Milwaukee Bucks
Golden State Warriors 116-104 Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers 111-106 Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans 112-100 Denver Nuggets

 

Spurs at Mavs

After their high-scoring battle against the Memphis Grizzlies, the San Antonio Spurs take on the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday. The Mavericks could welcome back star guard Luka Doncic.

Brett Brown believes the Philadelphia 76ers are "designed for the playoffs" after celebrating Christmas with a dominant win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 76ers spread plenty of festive cheer on Christmas Day courtesy of a 121-109 victory against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the high-flying Bucks in Philadelphia.

Embiid starred for the 76ers, posting 31 points and 11 rebounds as he upstaged reigning MVP Antetokounmpo at Wells Fargo Center, where Philadelphia led by as many as 29 points.

The Bucks (27-5) rolled into town as the league leaders and the team to beat, and the 76ers (23-10) passed the test.

"I think this team is designed for the playoffs," said head coach Brown, who brought in Al Horford and Josh Richardson in the offseason after Jimmy Butler's move to the Miami Heat.

"I believe that the road we have travelled so far has been erratic at times. Whether it's the infrequency of our five players playing together, whether it's navigating through some zone, at times some lost leads.

"It's like you're under a microscope trying to move this team forward and trying to get it whole. I think that the landing spot is exciting."

Embiid stepped up in Philadelphia's first home Christmas game in 31 years – the All-Star shooting three threes to go with as many assists and two blocks.

"A lot of people have kind of forgotten who I am," said Embiid, who is eyeing the playoffs after the 76ers lost in the Eastern Conference semi-finals last season. "When I'm needed, I'm going to show up."

"You are playing the best in the league," Embiid added. "We came out and showed that we are right there. We still have a long way to go, obviously, but we are right there and we are going to keep on getting better."

It was a tough night for Bucks star Antetokounmpo, who was eight of 27 from the floor and 0 of seven from three-point range for 18 points and 14 rebounds.

"They just played harder than us, better than us," Antetokounmpo said. "There are going to be some nights that you don't make shots. But you got to keep making plays, you got to keep believing in yourselves.

"You cannot back down. I wasn't having my best night tonight, but at the end of the day my team-mates want me to keep shooting the ball. I want to keep shooting the ball."

Joel Embiid said the Philadelphia 76ers are "playing scared" after suffering a second consecutive home loss in the NBA.

Championship hopefuls the 76ers had opened the season with a flawless 14-0 record at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

But the 76ers (20-10) have dropped back-to-back games on home court, upstaged 117-98 by the Dallas Mavericks on Friday following Wednesday's defeat to the Miami Heat.

The 76ers – who have lost three straight games overall – have looked uncomfortable and a shadow of the team attempting to reach the NBA Finals.

All-Star Embiid, who led the 76ers with 33 points and 17 rebounds, told reporters: "I feel like, especially tonight, we were playing scared. Basketball is easy. You just shoot it, pass it, move it. If you don't got a shot just pass it.

"I felt like tonight we had a few open looks, [and] you just got to shoot it. But then again, it's also a balance, that's what I've been dealing with. You got a lot of people telling you to be aggressive and all that, and obviously you don't want to be selfish, but at the end of the day if you got to make something happen, you got to, especially if you feel like you have a look.

"In those situations if you're wide open, or if you're open, just shoot it. We're going to get an offensive rebound or we're going to make something happen."

Like they did against the Heat midweek, the 76ers struggled against zone defence as Philadelphia fell to sixth in the Eastern Conference standings.

"I think that the influence that our inability lately, to, like, be put on our back heels against the zone has crept into our defense, our psyche, our spirit," head coach Brown said. "And I can't stand it.

"This is not who we are. It's not who we are. ... I love coaching these guys, because I respect them. And I feel like our competitive spirit has taken a dent because of our inability to score, and I think that any time you get into a mood swing that affects your defense because your offense is doing something, it needs to be addressed."

Brown added: "I haven't seen that in this group ... how long has it been since the Brooklyn game? Six days? Before that, we were all feeling pretty good ... the past six days, if that's what it is, the past three games we have laid eggs. We have not played with a competitive drive that reflects this team. It's not, at all, how I see the world."

Joel Embiid used criticism from Hall of Famers Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley as fuel to produce a stunning display on Thursday.

The Philadelphia 76ers dished out a first home loss of the season to the Boston Celtics, with Embiid the star man.

He registered a double-double as the 76ers triumphed 115-109, ending the Celtics' 10-match winning run at TD Garden.

Embiid's eye-catching performance came after NBA legends O'Neal and Barkley suggested he was failing to live up to his promise.

"For them to say that I have the potential to be the best player in the world, and I haven't shown that, and I should let it be shown, that says a lot," Embiid said in quotes reported by ESPN.

"They've been there, they've done it, they're Hall of Famers, so it just shows me I have to play harder and like I can.

"I actually called Shaq [on Wednesday] - he thought I was mad at him. I was like, 'No, I understand what he was saying.'

"I've had a bad year so far. I've been kind of frustrated, just because you're not seeing the teamwork and you try to fit in with your new team-mates. Just be aggressive ... just go out there and just dominate.

"Whatever they said, I think it was good for me."

Joel Embiid never imagined he would be held scoreless in an NBA game as the Philadelphia 76ers center endured a night to forget in the loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Two-time All-Star Embiid went 0-for-11 and had four turnovers in Philadelphia's 101-96 loss to the Raptors, who won a Game 7 against the Sixers in the playoffs last year en route to winning their first championship.

Philadelphia went 2-1 up in that series and Embiid celebrated with an airplane celebration, which Raptors fans mimicked during his rough game on Monday.

Furthermore, Raptors fan and Grammy-winning rapper Drake appeared to mock Embiid too by clapping at him from courtside.

"I was definitely not fatigued," Embiid, who had been averaging 22.8 points a game prior to Monday, told reporters.

"Obviously the defensive scheme, they wanted to try and make sure I didn't touch the ball. That forced me into a lot of tough shots.

"I never thought I would be here talking about zero points in an NBA game, but it is what it is.

"Some nights you make shots, some nights you don't. Some nights you're hot, some nights you're cold.

"Different defensive schemes, you've got to learn from it. Try to keep learning and working on your game."

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a season-high 50 points and collected 14 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Utah Jazz 122-118 in NBA action on Monday.

It was Antetokounmpo's second 50-point game of his career, which helped extend Milwaukee's (14-3) winning streak to eight games.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo also recorded his 17th consecutive double-double – the longest streak to start a season since 1976-77.

Bojan Bogdanovic (24 points) and Donovan Mitchell (20 points) led the Jazz (11-6) on the road.

LeBron James, meanwhile, put up 33 points and 14 assists to see the Los Angeles Lakers to a 114-104 victory at the San Antonio Spurs.

Anthony Davis added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the 15-2 Lakers, who own the best record in the league.

 

Hield has big game

Buddy Hield had a career-high 41 points but the Sacramento Kings still lost 103-102 to the Boston Celtics, who were without Kemba Walker due to a neck sprain.

Bam Adebayo had his ninth double-double of the season courtesy of 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Miami Heat defeated the Charlotte Hornets 117-100 to remain undefeated at home.

Carmelo Anthony moved into 18th place on the NBA's career scoring list. The veteran finished with 25 points in the Portland Trail Blazers' 117-94 win against the Chicago Bulls.

The Minnesota Timberwolves triumphed 125-113 over the Atlanta Hawks thanks to Karl-Anthony Towns' 28 points and 13 rebounds.

 

Horror night for Embiid

Joel Embiid was held scoreless for the first time in his career after the Philadelphia 76ers went down 101-96 to the Toronto Raptors. All-Star Embiid shot 0-for-11, missing all four of his shots from three-point range and going 0 of three from the free-throw line. He did, however, manage a game-high 13 rebounds.

 

Dinwiddie sinks Cavs

Playing in the absence of Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie hit a fadeaway jumper with 1.9 seconds remaining to lift the Brooklyn Nets past the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-106.

 

Monday's results

Brooklyn Nets 108-106 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 103-88 Orlando Magic
Indiana Pacers 126-114 Memphis Grizzlies
Miami Heat 117-100 Charlotte Hornets
Boston Celtics 103-102 Sacramento Kings
Minnesota Timberwolves 125-113 Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors 101-96 Philadelphia 76ers
Portland Trail Blazers 117-94 Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks 122-118 Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Lakers 114-104 San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder 100-97 Golden State Warriors

 

Clippers at Mavericks

There will be plenty of star quality on show when the Los Angeles Clippers visit the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George travel to Dallas riding a five-game winning streak. Led by the red-hot Luka Doncic, the Mavs have also won five straight.

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown felt Ben Simmons once again demonstrated his "elite" defensive abilities against the Miami Heat, keeping former team-mate Jimmy Butler quiet in Saturday's win.

With Simmons often designated to pick him up, Butler posted just 11 points as he missed nine of his 13 field goal attempts before sitting out the entire fourth quarter as the 76rs won 113-86.

The four-time All-Star was booed by Philadelphia fans in his first game at Wells Fargo Center since his departure. He joined the 76ers via a trade last November but left in the offseason, signing a four-year deal with the Heat.

Josh Richardson – a second-round draft pick by Miami in 2015 – led the way with 32 points for the 76ers, though it was their work without the ball that pleased Brown the most.

Simmons was singled out for special praise, the Australian helping his team move to 11-5 for the season despite contributing just four points on offense.

"What I do know is Ben was elite again defensively. I thought his performance guarding Jimmy was outstanding," Brown told the media.

"When Ben puts his mind to it, and he uncoils and he's six foot 10 and he's strong and he's got desire. I don't care who it is – that's a tough person to have on you."

Asked to assess his own performance, Simmons said: "I think it went well, if you look at the box score."

Joel Embiid had 23 points and 11 rebounds to help Philadelphia make it seven straight wins at home. The center is also developing a greater understanding of his role on defense, according to Simmons.

"He's getting a lot better," he said of Embiid. "Since I've been playing with him, he's definitely improved a lot in that area.

"Reading when the guy comes, it helps, and he's making the right plays."

Ben Simmons said he feels "great" after watching the Philadelphia 76ers return to winning ways as the star guard recovers from a shoulder injury.

Simmons was courtside to see the 76ers snap a three-game losing streak by topping the Charlotte Hornets 114-106 in the NBA on Sunday.

The All-Star hurt his shoulder in a loss to the Utah Jazz and has since missed games with the Denver Nuggets and Hornets.

"I feel great," Simmons said. "Woke up on a beautiful Sunday, excited to see my team play."

While Simmons was unavailable, fellow All-Star Joel Embiid was on the court to help lead the 76ers past the Hornets in Philadelphia.

After a difficult road trip following a two-game ban for a fight with Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, Embiid posted 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds against the Hornets.

Embiid's fitness has often been questioned and 76ers head coach Brett Brown told reporters: "We're trying to get Joel in increasingly better and better and better shape.

"I thought [Charlotte's Cody] Zeller made him run a lot in the first half.

"But our pace is always something we want to look at first."

After improving to 6-3 for the season, the 76ers are back on home court when they welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers (4-5) on Tuesday.

The Philadelphia 76ers are waiting to see how serious Ben Simmons' shoulder injury is after the Australian was forced off in Wednesday's loss to the Utah Jazz.

Simmons was withdrawn in the second quarter of Utah's 106-104 victory with what the team described as "right shoulder soreness", an injury he appeared to sustain when bumping Jazz guard Royce O'Neale in the chest.

Philadelphia face the Denver Nuggets on Friday and Simmons is expected to be assessed on Thursday to determine how long he will be out for.

"I hope he's going to be alright," team-mate Tobias Harris said in quotes published on the Philadelphia Inquirer's website.

"I checked him after the game. He said he's going to be okay. We'll just have to wait for tomorrow and see what happens."

It was a blow to the 76ers as they got Joel Embiid, another All-Star, back from a ban.

Embiid, who was suspended for two games following his brawl with Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, led the 76ers with 27 points, but head coach Brett Brown admitted his team missed Simmons.

"Defense is where I think we felt the pain of not having him the most," Brown told reporters.

"After that, you're just missing a veteran athlete to come in and keep the group together."

Were Simmons to miss any time, Philadelphia would lean more heavily on Embiid, and he vowed to avoid any more bans following his fracas with Towns.

"Obviously getting suspended is not good for me and the team," he said.

"So it's never going to happen again. But I'm happy to be back."

Page 3 of 4
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.