Simmons had an explosive first quarter, scoring 12 points to help his Philadelphia 76ers open an early lead over the Washington Wizards. He finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists without needing to walk the floor in the fourth quarter as the game turned into a rout, the 76ers winning 120-95 at home to take a 2-0 lead. in the first. – round playoff series.
In Sunday’s opener, which was played much tighter, Simmons had 15 assists and 15 rebounds but just six points. This lopsided line has led to negative comments, especially in Philadelphia, where fans are known for their edge. This led his trainer Doc Rivers to call out 76ers fans saying, “If you don’t know the treasure you have now, then shame everyone. “
With the Wizards sticking close to Joel Embiid, who had 30 points in Game 1, and Tobias Harris, who had 37, Simmons found plenty of space. With a big advantage over the Washington Guards, Simmons punished them at the post and racked up points in the paint by making 11 of 15 shots in total.
Then he had something to say.
“I’m not trying to stick with anyone in Philadelphia,” Simmons said. “I thought it was pretty hard to get 15 assists and 15 rebounds in the NBA playoffs. I thought it was pretty impressive. And we won. What do you want? Do you want to win? For me, I’m here to win and I do whatever I need to do to help my team win, whatever it is. I’m not trying to prove anyone wrong or anything like that. I try to do my job to win.
Simmons said he appreciated Rivers coming to his defense and stressed that Harris and Embiid combining for 67 points in Game 1 was crucial to the victory. Just as the fact that he takes advantage of the extra space offered to him was important on Wednesday.
“That’s the goal of basketball, isn’t it?” The people who did it, you have to give them the ball. I’m not surprised Doc said that because Doc knows the game, ”he said. “A lot of those people who say things haven’t played along.”
Simmons, who entered the game averaging 14.6 points in 23 career playoff games, had his strongest playoff game since playing 31 against the Brooklyn Nets in 2018. His 15 rebounds and 15 assists in Game 1 were career highs in the playoffs.
“I told him, ‘You have all the space and all the time in the world. Just attack, ”said Embiid, who tied Simmons with a team record of 22 points in Game 2.“ He’s physical and he’s athletic and he can make plays. ”