Ben Simmons triple-double gives Philadelphia 76ers first win of season

By @saihoops on
Ben Simmons, Ben Simmons Injury Update
Jan 11, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons (25) balances a ball before a game against the New York Knicks at Wells Fargo Center. USA TODAY Sports / Bill Streicher

Australian basketball sensation Ben Simmons registered his first career triple-double Monday as the Philadelphia 76ers edged out the Detroit Pistons 97-86 in an away encounter. With the victory, the Sixers ended their three-game losing streak and Simmons finished on the winning side for the first time in his NBA career.

The Sixers were guided to victory by their two franchise cornerstones, Simmons and Joel Embiid. While Simmons had an impressive tally of 21 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and a steal, Embiid dropped 30 points and 9 rebounds in quick time. Robert Covington added 13 points and 5 rebounds. Markelle Fultz, this year's No. 1 draft pick, continued to struggle with his jump shot and had just two points from 16 minutes off the bench. | See Final Box Score on ESPN |

"It's awesome to have a triple-double, but at the same time, it's even better to have a win," Simmons, widely projected to win the Rookie of the Year award, said in the post-game interview Monday (Tuesday in Australia).

Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid dominate for Philadelphia 

Simmons and Embiid were dominant from the onset as the Sixers ran away with a 21-point lead in the second quarter before the Pistons rallied back in the second half. On Saturday evening, the Pistons bounced back from a 21-point deficit to beat the New York Knicks. And they once again cut the deficit to just three points in the fourth quarter, but the Sixers, led by Simmons, held onto the victory.

Pistons made another late 6-0 run in the fourth quarter to cut Philadelphia’s lead to four points. However, an awkward-looking jump shot by centre Andre Drummond missed everything, and the Sixers closed out the game. Stan Van Gundy, coach of the Pistons, was evidently unhappy with his team. 

"It's mind boggling to have two games in a row where we weren't ready to play. We have to figure out a way to fix that, whether those five guys can boost the intensity or if we have to change the line up. I'm going to take the blame for Simmons. I'm not saying the players couldn't have done things better, but we didn't have a good game plan for him," a rather animated Van Gundy said after the defeat.

Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers will now host the Houston Rockets on Wednesday (Thursday in Australia). Meanwhile, the Pistons will stay at home and host the Minnesota Timberwolves on the same day. 

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