The Philadelphia 76ers' dominant home form was on full display as they secured a hard-fought 110-103 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
With Al Horford moving to the bench, the 76ers capitalised on the increased spacing, with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid combining for 52 of their 110 points.
Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 30 points and nine assists, while Paul George had an off night shooting the ball, going 3-of-15 from the field for his 11 points, adding 12 rebounds and five assists.
Here are the key takeaways from today's game:
Simmons throttles Clippers on both ends
Simmons controlled both ends for the 76ers in a tough matchup against Kawhi Leonard, showcasing his elite two-way ability.
The Aussie turned in an aggressive performance, powering his way to the rim, finding open shooters on the three-point line, all while guarding Leonard on the other end.
Simmons recorded his sixth triple-double of the season and 28th of his career, finishing with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists on an efficient 12-of-22 shooting, putting himself alongside some elite company.
Ben Simmons recorded his 28th career triple-double in tonight's win over the Clippers.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 12, 2020
Only Oscar Robertson (87) and Magic Johnson (31) had more across their first 3 NBA seasons. pic.twitter.com/atk54gKjxr
With the Clippers switching on defence, Simmons did a great job attacking the mismatch, showing off an improved touch around the rim, while combining with Embiid in one of the 76ers' best performances of the season.
"I think the chemistry was just good," Simmons said of his play with Embiid. "Me finding him, and him being a force down low and getting open, it just worked well tonight.
"I think we did a good job of getting mismatches and finding them."
The Sixers' Ben Simmons has recorded consecutive triple-doubles for the third time in his career. The only other player in team history to record back-to-back triple-doubles more than once is Wilt Chamberlain. pic.twitter.com/WPK8cHq4Ao- StatMuse (@statmuse) February 12, 2020
Lineup change yields immediate results
Brett Brown threw out a new-look starting five, with Furkan Korkmaz coming in for Al Horford, a move which opened up a ton more space for the likes of Simmons and Tobias Harris, who looked much more comfortable at power forward, blowing by his slower matchups.
Harris recorded 17 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists on the night, while Josh Richardson added 21 points.
🤯 🤯 🤯 🤯 🤯 🤯 🤯 pic.twitter.com/J4utFAakCo- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 12, 2020
With the 76ers moving the ball and knocking down shots, Embiid took advantage in the paint.
After being booed in the pre-game introductions, he quickly won the home fans back with an energetic start to the game, hitting the offensive glass for an and-1 putback and he kept it going from there.
Embiid took advantage of the Clippers' lack of interior defenders, pouring in 26 points, nine rebounds, two assists and one monster block on Marcus Morris Sr.
Joel Embiid's swat sets up the Matisse Thybulle triple to extend the lead!- NBA (@NBA) February 12, 2020
📺: @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/nmL1Ndee9n
With the paint, all to himself, Embiid was stationed much closer to the rim, getting deep touches in the paint, allowing him to roll over the shoulder score with ease.
"It was originated out of I thought that they were going to go small," head coach Brett Brown said post-game.
"I think that in general, I spoke to Al about it, we're trying to find ways to help him and help the team. I felt that the time was appropriate to do it if we could get that second unit going with Al. We did it with [Manu] Ginobili long ago, Al is obviously a quality player and how I end games will be the judgment. Tonight, we rolled out those big guys for a while, they went small, so did I and the decision to rotate him was because of that."
76ers stay hot at home
With today's win, the 76ers improve to 25-2 at Wells Fargo Center this season, continuing their impressive home form this season.
While they've had their struggles on the road, their ability to rally in front of their home fans is something else.
Philly led by eight points after the first quarter, extending their lead to 12 before the Clippers tied things up at the half at 54-54.
With every punch the Clippers threw, the 76ers countered, opening the second half on a 16-5 run, with Embiid, Simmons and newly-acquired Glenn Robinson III combining to give them a 70-59 lead.
They built a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, but again the Clippers hit back, before Josh Richardson caught fire in the fourth quarter, scoring 18 of his 21 points in the final frame.
He added five rebounds and two blocks.
Feelin' it. pic.twitter.com/Fts4K8T5km- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 12, 2020
The Clippers travel to Boston to take on the Celtics on Friday, while the 76ers enter the All-Star break on a three-game win streak.
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