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).

Paul George believes the Los Angeles Clippers have a special and underrated offense after they won a thriller against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Clippers won 136-130, tasting victory in a fourth straight game since their roster got back to full strength after the injury returns of George and Patrick Beverley.

They are 8-0 this season when having their full group available and George, in his first year with the team following his trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder, believes their offensive firepower is often overlooked.

"It is what makes us special," he said of the Clippers' offense, per ESPN.

"For as much defense we have, I think we are underrated offensively. It is special. 

"When a team like them [the 76ers] got hot and made shots, the offensive part of what we can do came into play and our scorers scored."

Leonard had 30 points, while George, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell all added 24 each, with the 76ers ending up beaten despite 39 from Shake Milton.

With the Clips at 41-19, only the Los Angeles Lakers have a better record in the Western Conference and Leonard was asked how his team compared to his title-winning units with the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors.

"We are striving to get there," Leonard said. "One thing is that you never know what is going to happen down the road. 

"If it is like my previous teams, everybody just wanting to win and trying to make a sacrifice, staying confident - I just think if we keep doing that - we can be successful.

"But it doesn't always work to your favour. There is a lot of luck in it - calls, making shots, people staying healthy. We just have to keep moving on the right track and staying positive.

"We are still at a point where we want to get better. It doesn't feel like we are 8-0 with the [full] roster. For the most part, we still want to get better. We are not being complacent at all."

A third loss in five games left Philadelphia with a 37-24 record, good for fifth in the Eastern Conference. They remain in LA to play the Lakers on Tuesday, while the Clippers will be on the road to face George's old Thunder team-mates.

LeBron James led the Los Angeles Lakers past the New Orleans Pelicans, while Giannis Antetokounmpo was in spectacular form in the NBA on Sunday.

James' triple-double of 34 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds helped the Lakers bounce back from their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies with a 122-114 victory over the Pelicans.

Zion Williamson, the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, delivered one of the best performances of his young career with a career-high 35 points and seven rebounds.

Without Anthony Davis (knee), the Lakers had six players finish with double-digits in points, including Kyle Kuzma (20).

Antetokounmpo powered the high-flying Milwaukee Bucks past the Charlotte Hornets 93-85.

The 2019 NBA MVP finished with 41 points, 20 rebounds and six assists as the Bucks improved to 52-8.

 

Leonard lifts Clippers, Jokic shines

Kawhi Leonard's 30 points helped the Los Angeles Clippers to a 136-130 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Shake Milton had a game-high 39 points for the 76ers in the absence of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Josh Richardson.

Nikola Jokic's triple-double of 23 points, 18 rebounds and 11 assists guided the Denver Nuggets past defending champions the Toronto Raptors 133-118.

The Dallas Mavericks crushed the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-91 as Kristaps Porzingis contributed 38 points and 13 rebounds.

 

Bad Bridges, Biyombo

Miles Bridges (seven points in 35 minutes) and Bismack Biyombo (eight points in 22 minutes) combined to go five-of-21 from the field in the Hornets' loss.

 

LeBron, Zion put on a show

James and Williamson thrilled during the Lakers' win over the Pelicans.

Sunday's results

Milwaukee Bucks 93-85 Charlotte Hornets
Dallas Mavericks 111-91 Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Clippers 136-130 Philadelphia 76ers
Denver Nuggets 133-118 Toronto Raptors
Sacramento Kings 106-100 Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Lakers 122-114 New Orleans Pelicans
Washington Wizards 124-110 Golden State Warriors

 

Bucks at Heat

The Bucks (52-8) will aim for a seventh straight win when they face the Heat (38-22) in Miami on Monday.

Brett Brown provided a positive update on Joel Embiid's shoulder injury, confirming the Philadelphia 76ers center has sustained "no structural damage".

Embiid left the 76ers' 108-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday following a collision with Ante Zizic in the first quarter and did not return.

Philadelphia consequently faced the New York Knicks on Thursday without All-Star duo Embiid and Ben Simmons, who is reportedly set to miss two weeks with a back problem.

The Sixers ran out 115-106 winners at Wells Fargo Center, Tobias Harris stepping up with 34 points on 14-of-21 shooting, and there was more good news for Brown after the game.

"The fact that there is no structural damage, we all hear loudly," said coach Brown, with Embiid to be re-evaluated in a week.

"It's as much from the personal standpoint as it is a selfish coach that he's looking forward to this run home, this final third, the responsibility, no Ben for how long we'll all figure out in time.

"To learn that from his perspective and from the team's perspective, that is exciting news."

Anthony Davis led the way as the Lebron James-less Los Angeles Lakers accounted for the Golden State Warriors 116-86 in the NBA.

James sat out Thursday's trip to San Francisco due to a sore groin, but star Lakers team-mate Davis stepped up with 23 points and six rebounds.

Kyle Kuzma posted 18 points, while Dwight Howard (13), JaVale McGee (12), Rajon Rondo (12) and Avery Bradley (12) all contributed for the Lakers on the road.

It was a seventh consecutive win for Western Conference leaders the Lakers, who improved to 45-12.

Meanwhile, the lowly Warriors were led by Eric Paschall's 23 points off the bench.

 

Harris leads 76ers

In the absence of injured All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris stepped up for the Philadelphia 76ers. Harris posted a game-high 34 points in a 115-106 win over the lowly New York Knicks. The 76ers improved their league-best home record to 28-2. Shake Milton starred from the three-point line, nailing all five of his attempts on his way to 19 points.

Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from 19 points down to top the Sacramento Kings 112-108. It was Oklahoma City's fifth consecutive victory.

Domantas Sabonis tallied his 45th double-double of the season to see the Indiana Pacers past the Portland Trail Blazers 106-100. Sabonis finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds. CJ McCollum had 28 points for the Trail Blazers, while Hassan Whiteside put up 18 points and 16 rebounds.

 

Bazemore endures tough night

The Kings lost and Kent Bazemore struggled. The shooting guard was three of 12 from the field and 0 of three from beyond the arc for seven points in 18 minutes.

Sixers recruits Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks – who were both acquired from the Warriors on the deadline – had a chance to impress against the Knicks but failed to do so. In the starting five, Robinson played 21 minutes but was just two of six from the field for a paltry four points. Burks, meanwhile, was two of 10 from the field and made just one of his four three-point attempts as he scored seven.

 

CP3 with the no-look pass

Chris Paul teed up Thunder team-mate Steve Adams in cool fashion.

 

Thursday's results

Oklahoma City Thunder 112-108 Sacramento Kings
Indiana Pacers 106-100 Portland Trail Blazers
Philadelphia 76ers 115-106 New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers 116-86 Golden State Warriors

 

Thunder at Bucks

The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks (50-8) play host to the in-form Thunder on Friday. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are riding a four-game winning streak.

Joel Embiid sat out the Philadelphia 76ers' game against the New York Knicks due to a shoulder problem.

Embiid did not suit up for Thursday's clash with the Knicks after hurting his shoulder in Wednesday's loss at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The NBA All-Star reportedly suffered a sprained left shoulder, with the 76ers still evaluating Embiid and hoping to provide another update on Friday.

Embiid is averaging 23.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game for the 76ers (36-23), who are fifth in the Eastern Conference.

The 76ers are already without fellow All-Star Ben Simmons due to a back problem.

Joel Embiid will undergo a scan on his injured shoulder and is a doubt for the Philadelphia 76ers' clash with the New York Knicks on Thursday.

The All-Star center managed just eight minutes of Wednesday's 108-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Embiid appeared to suffer the setback in a coming together with Cavaliers center Ante Zizic, missing two free throws shortly after, and coach Brett Brown was left in doubt over his fitness.

"I'm really sort of a prisoner to the medical people's information," Brown said, per ESPN. "I haven't checked in. I just left the team. I'm unsure, I really am unsure."

The 76ers are 9-21 on the road after their latest loss at Wells Fargo Center, in stark contrast to a home record that is the best in the league.

Brown also had to contend with the absence of Ben Simmons, out with a back injury, but felt it was a chance for someone else to step up against a struggling Cavs side.

"I feel like when you don't have Joel and you don't have Ben, it's an opportunity for others to put their hand up and declare this is who we are. It is who we are," Brown said. "I felt from that physical standpoint we were C-minus."

Embiid is averaging 23.3 points this season and peaked in Monday's win over the Atlanta Hawks, draining a career-high 49 points.

Joel Embiid has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for making an obscene gesture on court and using profane language during a television interview.

The Philadelphia 76ers center reacted to Kevin Huerter stealing the ball from him in the final seconds of his team's 129-112 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday by raising his middle finger.

Embiid had a career-high 49 points but opted not to go for a half-century in the closing stages, instead dribbling the ball out to run out the clock.

However, when Huerter claimed possession, the 25-year-old responded with a one-finger salute towards his opponent which was picked up by courtside cameras.

Embiid was then asked after the game in an interview if he is the best player in the world, a question stemming from him making such a claim after a recent win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Opting to stand by his previous comment, he referenced the recent All-Star Game in Chicago – having scored 22 points for Team Giannis - and included the use of an expletive, though he quickly said sorry for his choice of words, as well as issuing an on-air apology for his reaction to Huerter.

In a statement, Kiki VanDeWeghe, executive vice-president of basketball operations for the NBA announced Embiid's punishment, with the amount reflective of his "multiple prior violations of acceptable on-court decorum".

The 76ers are in action on Wednesday, hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Joel Embiid has apologised for his middle finger gesture at Kevin Huerter and vowed to prove to his critics that he is the best player in the world.

The 25-year-old delivered a career-high 49 points, to go with 14 rebounds, as the Philadelphia 76ers eased to a 129-112 victory over Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

He had a chance to reach 50 in the final 30 seconds, but with the Sixers 17 points ahead Embiid instead appeared ready to run down the clock.

Huerter stole the ball off Embiid as he passed half court, however, prompting a one-finger salute that was picked up by the courtside cameras. 

Explaining his actions after the game, Embiid told NBC Sports Philadelphia: "I want to say sorry for what I did at the end. Y'all probably saw that on TV. I'm sorry."

But when questioned on the same topic at a news conference, Embiid backtracked slightly by adding: "There's always this thing about you shouldn't shoot the ball if you're up 20.

"I feel like it should go both ways too. I mean, I'm running the clock down and I feel like the game is over, that's why I'm doing it.

"But to me, if the other team is going to keep playing defense and they're going to keep shooting the ball at the other end, I feel like we should just be like, 'Well, be better next time,' and just go out and score. 

"I thought about it when I had the ball again, but I was like 'Eh, I'm going to stay cool.'"

Embiid has produced three big performances in a row for the Sixers, either side of a 22-point display in the NBA All-Star Game.

And after labelling himself among the league's elite performers following Philadelphia's overtime victory against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Embiid admitted it is down to him to prove his claim.

"What I said was that All-Star Game fourth quarter, I'm out there with some of the guys that are considered the best players in the world, and I'm out there just dominating, being unstoppable, doing whatever I want, especially in the post," he said.

"So to me, I just felt like that was a chance for me to prove that I deserved being in that conversation of being the best player in the world.

"That's what I said. But like I said tonight, if I play like that every night, like this, like I played tonight, what more can you say? I just gotta keep on doing it; I know I'm not, but I do believe it, because I got to prove it, I got to win. 

"My goal is to win a championship - that's how you prove you're up there. I'm going to do everything I can to get to that point and win a championship."

The Los Angeles Clippers ended their losing streak in the NBA on Monday, while Joel Embiid and Bradley Beal produced career-highs.

The Clippers snapped a three-game losing run by crushing the Memphis Grizzlies 124-97.

Kawhi Leonard had 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting, while Montrezl Harrell contributed 22 off the bench.

Embiid delivered a career-high 49 points, to go with 14 rebounds, as the Philadelphia 76ers eased past the Atlanta Hawks 129-112.

Meanwhile, Beal's career-high 55 points were not enough for the Washington Wizards.

He became the first player to score 50 or more points on back-to-back nights since the late Kobe Bryant in March 2007.

The Wizards almost upset the Milwaukee Bucks before falling 137-134 after overtime, with Khris Middleton pouring in 40 points.

 

Harden hot as Doncic lifts Mavs

James Harden led the way for the Houston Rockets with his 37 points and nine assists in a 123-112 win over the New York Knicks.

The Dallas Mavericks eased past the Minnesota Timberwolves 139-123 as Luka Doncic posted 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Aaron Gordon's double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds helped the Orlando Magic past the Brooklyn Nets 115-113.

 

Bad Brooks

Dillon Brooks struggled massively for Memphis, going one-of-seven from the field for just four points in 25 minutes.

 

Brilliant Beal

Beal was at his best against the Bucks.

Monday's results

Cleveland Cavaliers 125-119 Miami Heat
Philadelphia 76ers 129-112 Atlanta Hawks
Milwaukee Bucks 137-134 Washington Wizards
Orlando Magic 115-113 Brooklyn Nets
Houston Rockets 123-112 New York Knicks
Dallas Mavericks 139-123 Minnesota Timberwolves
Phoenix Suns 131-111 Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Clippers 124-97 Memphis Grizzlies

 

Bucks at Raptors

The Eastern Conference's top two do battle in Toronto on Tuesday. The Bucks (49-8) are eyeing their 50th win of the season and are seven games clear of the Raptors (42-15).

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.

Joel Embiid feels his current run of form, including a 22-point display in the NBA All-Star Game, has proven he is the best player in the world.

Big man Embiid is often maligned despite averaging 23.3 points and 12 rebounds per game this season, with his highly-talented Philadelphia 76ers an underwhelming fifth in the Eastern Conference.

But the 25-year-old has had a big hand in Sixers wins either side of the All-Star break.

Embiid tallied 26 points and nine rebounds as he starred alongside Ben Simmons in a defeat of the Los Angeles Clippers, while a brilliant 39-point, 16-rebound return lifted Philadelphia to an overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, extending their winning run to four games.

In between those two performances, Embiid also managed 22 points and 10 rebounds for Team Giannis as he took on the best the Western Conference had to offer.

It was this display in the All-Star Game that Embiid felt secured his place as the league's elite performer.

"The All-Star game was fun, being there in the fourth quarter doing my thing at the end of the game," he said after seeing off the Nets, who will miss Kyrie Irving for the remainder of the season.

"The game against the Clippers was a good starting spot, but the All-Star game was just proving that I'm here, I belong, being the best player in the world.

"And I just intend to keep coming out every single night and playing hard, just going out and trying to win a championship."

Embiid will have the opportunity to back up his claim on Saturday when the Sixers take on conference leaders the Milwaukee Bucks and All-Star captain Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is on course for a second straight MVP award.

"We beat them pretty bad in the first matchup [121-109 in December], they got us the last one [112-101 earlier this month]," Embiid said. "So, it's on us to go out there and try to beat them again."

Giannis Antetokounmpo starred as the Milwaukee Bucks resumed their NBA season with a comfortable win, while the Houston Rockets cruised on Thursday.

Back in action after the All-Star break, the Bucks improved to 47-8 with a 126-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Antetokounmpo finished with a double-double of 33 points and 16 rebounds, while Khris Middleton poured in 28 points.

Eric Bledsoe went eight-of-14 from the field for his 19 points and Brook Lopez contributed 18 for the Bucks.

The Rockets were untroubled by the Golden State Warriors in a 135-105 thrashing.

James Harden (29 points and 10 assists) and Russell Westbrook (21 points and 10 assists) finished with double-doubles.

All five of Houston's starters finished with double-digits for points, with Robert Covington adding 20.

 

Young red-hot as Embiid lifts 76ers

Trae Young had a career-high 50 points in the Atlanta Hawks' 129-124 win over the Miami Heat.

Joel Embiid's double-double of 39 points and 16 rebounds helped the Philadelphia 76ers past the Brooklyn Nets 112-104 after overtime.

Malik Monk's 25 points off the bench helped the Charlotte Hornets beat the Chicago Bulls 103-93.

 

Bulls' slump continues

The Bulls' loss was their seventh straight as they were left with a 19-37 record and in 11th in the Eastern Conference.

 

Young from deep

Young went eight-of-15 from three-point range in a dazzling display.

Thursday's results

Milwaukee Bucks 126-106 Detroit Pistons
Atlanta Hawks 129-124 Miami Heat
Philadelphia 76ers 112-104 Brooklyn Nets
Charlotte Hornets 103-93 Chicago Bulls
Sacramento Kings 129-125 Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets 135-105 Golden State Warriors

 

Grizzlies at Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers (41-12) resume their campaign against the Memphis Grizzlies (28-27) at the Staples Center on Friday.

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