Ben Simmons had a cracker against the Clippers.
Ben Simmons had a cracker against the Clippers.

‘Incredible’: Simmons’ perfect retort

THE Philadelphia 76ers have been besieged by talk of behind-the-scenes turmoil and in-fighting as their season threatened to go off the rails.

The franchise's two highest-profile players Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have been at the centre of it all, with the pair accused of being jealous of one another - each wanting to be the team's main man at the other's expense.

It's long been said by NBA pundits the two are outright stars but can't co-exist on the floor because they get in each other's way. But they turned it on to help the Sixers topple the LA Clippers by seven points on Wednesday (AEST).

After losing four games in a row, Philly has now won three on the bounce and will take some much-needed confidence from its impressive 110-103 victory over the Clippers, who sit third in the Western Conference.

Simmons and Embiid did the damage on the scoreboard for the 76ers. The Aussie star recorded his second straight triple-double and sixth for the season, finishing with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists while All-Star centre Embiid had nine rebounds and two assists to go with his 26 points.

Simmons did an admirable job on reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and his contribution also included a magical basket when he drove into the paint, spun around and finished with a reverse one-handed effort that dropped through the hoop.

One of the more telling moments came with about two minutes to play and the Sixers up by nine. A block in the backcourt from Embiid denied the Clippers two points and Simmons picked up the scraps, going down the court and drawing defenders before dishing off for an assist that saw Philadelphia add a three-pointer and extend its buffer to 12 points.

There have been suggestions the 76ers need to trade at least one of Simmons or Embiid to right the ship but the pair proved when they're in synch, there's still room for the two of them on the hardwood.


Sometimes even those that live in the land of the giants need a little help from time to time.

You wouldn't think Kristaps Porzingis, an NBA star standing 221cm tall, would require much assistance on the basketball court but he needed a helping hand from his mate to get out of a pickle.

During Utah's 123-119 win over Dallas yesterday, the ball got stuck high behind the backboard and Porzingis stepped in to try and get the game back underway.

Using a broom handle, he kept prodding and prodding but couldn't shake the ball loose. Thankfully, Boban Marjanovic wasn't far away.

Porzingis's 224cm Mavericks teammate tapped him on the back and asked to take over retrieval duties. The big Serbian clearly has the Midas touch because he took just one nudge with the handle to wrangle the ball loose.

The crowd cheered Marjanovic as he jogged back to the Mavericks bench and handed out high fives to those congratulating him on a job well done.

Marjanovic was happy to poke fun at his colleague after the game, taking to social media to suggest this wasn't the job for someone only standing a mere 221cm off the ground.

Unfortunately for the Mavericks that's where the laughs ended as they went down by four points to the Jazz and the news was even worse for Ryan Broekhoff, who became the latest Australian axed from an NBA team when Dallas cut the 29-year-old to open a roster spot for defensive specialist Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Broekhoff, a sharpshooter from Frankston, Victoria, was placed on waivers and is expected to be picked by one of the many NBA teams looking for a three-point weapon.

The Australian showed why he was a favourite in the Mavericks locker room by posting an eloquent farewell message on social media.

"Been a pleasure," Broekhoff wrote on Instagram. "Thank you to the @dallasmavs for the opportunity.

"Thank you to the fans for all your support. Thank you coaches who have helped guide me and a special thank you to all my teammates. Enjoyed every day going to work with you guys.

"Who knows what the future holds."

Reports swirled about former Charlotte Hornets' forward Kidd-Gilchrist's arrival and Broekhoff's exit as fellow Aussie Joe Ingles' Jazz jumped on the Mavericks and prompted Dallas coach Rick Carlisle to slam his team's defence as "terrible" in the post game press conference.

Broekhoff joined the Mavericks last season and had his first start last month against the Houston Rockets, but the team needed to shed a player, bolster its defence and in the cut-throat NBA the Australian was the casualty.

Broekhoff had been connecting with 39.2 per cent of his three-pointers this season and averaging 10.6 minutes, 2.5 rebounds and 4.2 points a game.

Fellow Australian Jonah Bolden was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers last week and also sits on the NBA open market waiting for a suitor.

Ingles expects Broekhoff to be picked up by an NBA team.

"You'll be back brother," Ingles wrote on Twitter.

Broekhoff proved his good guy reputation as he left the Mavericks' American Airlines Arena after the Jazz loss and with his NBA future in doubt. Broekhoff heard a child from the Make-A-Wish Foundation was at the arena and made their day.

"Ryan stopped in the room to visit the child, always one to make kids feel special, no matter what," the Mavericks' community reporter Tamara Jolee wrote on Twitter. "@RBroekhoff45 is the type of person that remembers the bigger picture in all we do.

"He's truly a class act."