Sixers praise Ben Simmons for performance after win over Rockets

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The Philadelphia 76ers were able to finish off a 3-game road trip on Wednesday with an easy 135-115 win over the Houston Rockets that brought their winning streak to six games. Philadelphia is now 1.5 games up on the Brooklyn Nets for the No. 1 seed with six games left to play in the season.

The wins have seemed to come easy since Ben Simmons returned to the lineup as they lost four games in a row while he was out with a non-COVID relates illness and since his return, they have won six in a row. He had 10 points, all in the first quarter, and three assists as the team was able to pick up another win with him in the lineup.

“It definitely connects,” said coach Doc Rivers. “We’ve obviously won games that he has missed, but with him on the floor, it makes things a lot easier for everybody. I thought we really struggled right before he came back just offensively. I thought we were struggling with our pace and sometimes you sit out, sit back, and you watch that yourself. I’m assuming Ben was watching. I can’t tell you if he was or not, but it definitely helps.”

Simmons may have only had three assists, but he was pushing the pace early and often on Wednesday. The Rockets had trouble stopping him as well as having to get out to their shooters and that allowed Seth Curry and Danny Green to do what they do on the floor.

“He just makes the game easier for everybody,” said Joel Embiid. “You can see all the shooters on the court. They’re just spaced out because he just wants to grab the rebound and he just pushes the ball in transition, either to attack and just to find guys. That’s the thing we miss the most when he’s not playing, Just the pace, just him bringing the ball fast and being a playmaker.”

On the flip side, this was just the lowly Rockets. They have the worst record in the NBA, they only had eight players dressed, technically seven due to D.J. Augustin not being ready to play, and they then lost Kevin Porter Jr. in the second half. While the 6-game winning streak is big and it comes with Simmons being back in the lineup, they are coming against either bad or shorthanded teams.

“These types of wins don’t excite me too much, because we haven’t been playing god teams,” Embiid added. “Although, we played. Phoenix, we played Steph when he was hot, and making everything so we had a couple of tough games against really good teams lately, games have been easier. That’s why we’ve been dominating and we haven’t played any fourth quarters.”

Philadelphia will return home on Friday to host the New Orleans Pelicans.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!


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