Philadelphia makes Ben Simmons Nets bite the dust, Damian Lillard feasts

Philadelphia makes Ben Simmons Nets bite the dust, Damian Lillard feasts

Moved from Philadelphia to Brooklyn last year, the Australian point guard bit the dust with the Nets on the floor of the Sixers (137-133), while the Portland star sparkled.

Losing comeback for Ben Simmons. Left a year ago fromPhilly“Amid tensions in the locker room with Joel Embiid, the playmaker was again heckled by his former audience. And this tense reunion seemed to reflect on the floor, with a prolific and very tight first quarter (41-41) but also dotted with faults (13 in total). A climate that did not please the coach of the Sixers, Doc Rivers, despite the victory. “There’s a difference between being intense and being overwhelmed by your emotions“, he commented. “Honestly, I thought we tipped over the wrong side tonight. We must better contain our emotions“, still judged Rivers.

Faced with the Nets still deprived of Kevin Durant (knee), the doublet Joel Embiid-James Harden generally did the job, scoring 39 points. But it was Tyrese Maxey, off the bench, who was the Sixers’ top scorer (27 pts). Embiid also grabbed 10 rebounds. In this hostile atmosphere, Ben Simmons was discreet (12 pts, 5 rebounds and 5 assists), leaving the leading roles to Seth Curry -Stephen’s brother- and Kyrie Irving (respectively 32 and 30 pts). On an upward slope this season, Philadelphia retains its 2nd place in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 31 wins (16 losses), behind Boston (35-14) but still ahead of Milwaukee (31-17), winners at the same time of Denver (107-99).

Damian Lillard (again) at 60 points

Giannis Antetokounmpo put on a show with the Bucks (33 points and 14 rebounds). But the biggest performance of the evening took place in Oregon, where Damian Lillard scored 60 points in Portland’s 134-124 victory against the Utah Jazz. This is the 4th time in his career that the leader of the Blazers, author of a 21 of 29 shooting, scores 60 points or more. “It was amazing. We don’t often have the opportunity to witness this“, rightly noted his trainer, Chauncey Billups. They are indeed only six players in the history of the NBA, including Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and James Harden, to have reached 60 points on several occasions. “Even when things weren’t going our way I felt I could get us back in the game“, for his part declared Lillard, who will however have to multiply the exploits of this kind to lead the Blazers to the play-offs.

The Pelicans take a beak

Portland indeed occupies a modest 12th place in the West, just ahead of the LA Lakers, who won against San Antonio (113-104), a match in which LeBron James was content with a small double- doubles (20 pts, 11 assists). In San Francisco, in the last game of the evening, Jordan Poole scored the winning basket (122-120) for the Golden State Warriors 2.4 seconds from the buzzer, against the Memphis Grizzlies. A minute earlier, the NBA champions had lost their star Stephen Curry (34 pts), excluded for the third time in his career only after throwing his mouth guard to the ground, in a moment of frustration. In his defense, the game gave a panting crossover to the score. Before that, the New Orleans Pelicans had once again sunk against Minnesota (102-111). Without Zion Williamson, the Louisianans are six losses in a row. They remain fourth in the West but now see the pack growing in the rear view mirror.

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