Ben Simmons has shooting fever.
Ben Simmons has shooting fever.

Simmons pulls more tricks out of his bag

HIGH on confidence after sinking his first three-pointer in the NBA last week, Ben Simmons continued his shooting spree in Philadelphia's win over Sacramento.

Simmons registered a double-double in the 76ers' 97-91 victory, finishing with 10 points, 14 rebounds and five assists as he showed off his prowess from outside the paint by draining a fadeaway jumper to add two points to the Sixers' score in the second quarter.

The Aussie star made it look easy too, showing his first bucket from downtown against the New York Knicks last Thursday was no fluke.

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Despite being named an All-Star last season, Simmons has copped plenty of criticism during his brief NBA career for his unwillingness to shoot away from the basket.

As good close to the rim as anyone in the league, the Melbourne-born point guard has no trouble driving past defenders and into the paint for lay-ups and dunks but his ability to score from range has always been the biggest question mark over his capacity to elevate his game to another level.

He knows he's a work in progress and has at least shown glimpses he's added some tools to his game this season.

Coach Brett Brown has repeatedly defended Simmons, saying his jump shot will come in time. He again was asked several times prior to Thursday's game about Simmons' shot.

"In general, I want him to shoot more," Brown said. "There are available shots he can look at more."

Meanwhile, Joel Embiid rebounded from the worst game of his career with 33 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Sixers to victory.

Embiid was scoreless on Tuesday in a 101-96 loss against Toronto. In 32 minutes against the Raptors, the star big man went 0 for 11 from the field, including 0-for-4 from the arc and missed all three of his free throws.

Joel Embiid was back in form.
Joel Embiid was back in form.

Against the Kings, he scored the first points of the game with an emphatic dunk 23 seconds in and had some key points late in the game to help Philadelphia improve to 8-0 at home. He finished 10 of 19 from the field and 12 of 14 from the free-throw line.

Philadelphia rookie Matisse Thybulle scored all 15 of his career-best points in the second half. Thybulle was needed after Josh Richardson didn't return in the second half due to right hamstring tightness.

Thybulle added four steals and two blocks while making all five of his shots, including three three-pointers.

Buddy Hield scored 22 points and Dewayne Dedmon had 18 for the Kings. They were 1-3 on a four-game trip.

Hield, coming off a career-high 41 points against Boston on Tuesday, made 3 of 12 three-pointers and 9 of 24 shots overall.

Late in the contest Sacramento closed within five, 92-87, thanks to a 14-2 run. But Embiid scored from close to put the 76ers up 94-87 and then hit a pair from the line to make it 96-87 with 1:41 left.

News Corp Australia

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