Em­biid sparks Six­ers

Philly’s youth comes up big in 109-105 win

The Republican Herald - - SPORTS - by steVe DILbecK

LOS AN­GE­LES — The 76ers had their eyes on the fu­ture Mon­day night, and it cer­tainly looked bright.

Their present wasn’t too bad, ei­ther.

Philadel­phia has sev­eral tal­ented young play­ers and three of them — cen­ter Joel Em­biid, for­ward Robert Covington and guard Ben Sim­mons — had it all work­ing in a 109-105 vic­tory over the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers.

Em­biid put up 32 points and 16 re­bounds in a ca­reer­high 36 min­utes and had his way with Clip­pers cen­ter DeAn­dre Jor­dan, a de­fen­sive stand­out.

Robert Covington added 31 points, in­clud­ing a key 3-pointer that gave the Six­ers the lead for good with 33 sec­onds re­main­ing. Ben Sim­mons had 22 points and 12 re­bounds.

The 23-year-old Em­biid and 21-year-old Sim­mons dom­i­nated for much of the night.

“They’re two of the best play­ers in the league al­ready,” Six­ers guard JJ Redick said. “They’re both MVP-cal­iber play­ers. They’re fan­tas­tic and we’re all along for the ride.”

The Clip­pers lost their sixth straight de­spite get­ting 31 points off the bench from Lou Wil­liams. Blake Griffin added 29 but failed to score in the fourth quar­ter, go­ing 0-for-4.

Los An­ge­les ral­lied from a 14-point deficit to lead by five with 2:11 to play, but the Six­ers made all the key plays down the stretch.

“We took bad shots,” Griffin said. “I took bad shots. We got stag­nant and just didn’t trust our of­fense.”

Sim­mons made all three of his shots for nine points in the fourth quar­ter and had four re­bounds.

“He’s a dif­fer­ence-maker,” said Six­ers coach Brett Brown. “He is a game-changer at a 6-10 point guard po­si­tion. Some of his passes tonight, some of his fin­ishes tonight, some of his loose balls and 50-50 balls — he’s dif­fer­ent.

“The thing I like the most and get ex­cited the most is, he’s barely scratched the sur­face. He has so much more to give and to im­prove on and knowl­edge to take in.”

Em­biid fouled out Jor­dan and his backup, Wil­lie Reed. The 76ers’ big man went to the line 16 times.

“That re­flects a men­tal­ity way more than a statis­tic,” Brown said. “And his men­tal­ity tonight was dom­i­nant.

“I think there’s more to give, even more dom­i­nance.”

The Six­ers out­re­bounded Los An­ge­les 51-34, help­ing them to over­come 20 turnovers.

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