Simmons, Sixers rock the Wells Fargo Center to emphatically even series

Whatever the message was at halftime, it definitely worked.

The Sixers used a record-setting 51-point third quarter to crush the Nets, 145-123, Monday night in Game 2 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Thanks to some more hot shooting by Brooklyn, the Sixers held just a one-point advantage at the break. Then Joel Embiid, a game-time decision heading in, started to look like himself, and Ben Simmons continued a brilliant bounce-back performance.

The 51 points were the most ever scored in the third quarter and tied for the most in any quarter of a playoff game in NBA history. The 145 points set a playoff franchise record.

The series now heads up to Brooklyn for Game 3 Thursday tied, 1-1.

Here are observations from the win:

* Simmons said at practice on Sunday that he was planning to be much more aggressive in Game 2. He was a man of his word from the opening tip … literally.

After Embiid won the tip, Simmons took the ball directly to the rim. He missed, but it was definitely a tone-setting type of play by Simmons. It made everything come a little easier for the Sixers as Simmons continued to go to the rim, looking for his own shot.

Of course Simmons took exception to the fans booing in Game 1, but everyone kissed and made up in the first quarter. After an excellent take and finish on Jarrett Allen, Simmons raised his arms up, urging the crowd to get louder.

They obliged.


Ben Simmons giving the crowd what they want with a big drive and hype up the crowd’s cheers. He’s got seven points and three boards already.

– NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly)
April 16, 2019

He recorded his second career playoff triple-double with 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Also, for as poor as Simmons was offensively in Game 1, he did an outstanding job on D’Angelo Russell, holding him to 10 of 25 from the field. Game 2 wasn’t much kinder to Russell, who finished just 6 of 16. Simmons has flashed elite defensive ability at times this season and has been stellar through two games in the playoffs.

* Embiid was a little slow to get going. He didn’t attempt a field goal in his first seven minutes of action.

Then this happened …


– NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly)
April 16, 2019

It’s funny, Embiid seemed quiet in his 12 first-half minutes, but had 10 points and five boards. Even with an achy knee, he can shows signs of sheer brilliance. He moved around much better Monday night than he did Saturday afternoon.

He started the second half with a personal 7-0 run and had 13 points in the third. Brett Brown had to play the All-Star center only 20 minutes as he finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

* While Jimmy Butler was a beast and Embiid was still rounding into form in Game 1, there was legitimate concern over the play of Simmons, JJ Redick and Tobias Harris. All three surpassed their …read more

Source:: Daily times


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