Ben Simmons Leads 76ers to Another Road Victory vs. Nets
It was quite the scene in Brooklyn on Monday afternoon. As the Philadelphia 76ers were set to take on the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center for the second time this season, the Sixers were looking to leave NYC with two victories in three days.
On Saturday, the Sixers were desperate for a win on the road. After losing six-straight outside of South Philly, the 76ers finally picked up their first road win of 2020 by defeating the Knicks. On Monday, they had an opportunity to add onto their three-game win streak.
At first, the road to victory did not seem promising for the Sixers. Though there was never a point they were getting blown out, it seemed as if Brooklyn was going to have control throughout the game, as they took advantage of the Sixers' apparent weaknesses.
Then, Ben Simmons happened. Midway through the game, the Sixers' versatile point guard was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Ironically enough, he put on another stellar performance following that announcement in the second half.
Simmons ended up leading the Sixers in scoring by tying his career-high of 34 points. The third-year guard also brought down 12 rebounds, and accounted for 12 assists, notching a triple-double on the afternoon. Though Simmons' offensive effort on Monday was one of his best, the Sixers' entire second-half defense was the highlight of the matchup.
The stat sheet won't indicate just how well Philly played in the fourth quarter on defense, but the film won't lie. Simmons, the rookie Matisse Thybulle, veteran center Al Horford, even Tobias Harris were outstanding on defense down the stretch.
And although the Sixers kept the Nets around after a handful of missed opportunities on offense, Philly ultimately did a solid job of closing out the game by winning 117-111. With that win, the Sixers advance to 29-16 on the year. They will look to improve their record, even more, when they take on the Toronto Raptors on the road Wednesday night.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_