Ben Simmons beats Jazz centre Rudy Gobert to the rack in the Sixers big win. Picture: AP
Ben Simmons beats Jazz centre Rudy Gobert to the rack in the Sixers big win. Picture: AP

All-Star hopeful Simmons gets another triple double

BEN Simmons' chances of becoming the first Australian All-Star have been given a major boost following his fifth triple-double of the season in a big road win over Utah.

Simmons finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists as the 76ers cruised past the Jazz to win 114-97.

The Melbourne-born point guard controversially missed out on All-Star selection last season but he looks on track to make amends this year.

 

Simmons wasn't the only Philadelphia player to excel against Utah, with four other players scoring in double figures.

JJ Redick led the way with a game-high 24 points and Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid added 19 and 23 respectively.

Utah didn't win but Australian guard Dante Exum was enormous in a beaten side.

He finished with a season-high 20 points to fall just two points short of his career-best scoring statistics.

Embiid, who has a league-leading 31 double-doubles, and Gobert both had bright moments in the post but the Jazz let Redick get loose for six three-pointers.

Jimmy Butler was also effective on the perimeter and drives for dunks as he scored 19 points.

The 76ers (23-13) were able to disrupt the Jazz offensive sets and force them into shots they don't usually take.  Utah shot 38 per cent from the field.

On the other end, crisp passing and constant movement off the ball kept the 76ers one step ahead all night.

Utah came into the game with the best defensive rating over the past 10 games, according to NBA stats, but the 76ers shot 50 per cent and racked up 31 assists.

Embiid and Redick each had 10 points in the second quarter as the 76ers shot 75 per cent in the period to turn a seven-point deficit into a 57-52 half-time lead.

A 24-8 run continued through much of the third quarter and Philadelphia led 76-60 after Mike Muscala sank a three-pointer.

The Jazz never got within 15 points the rest of the way.

'Voting for the 2019 NBA All Star game is now open. Simply go to nba.com/vote and pick your favourite NBA players today!'

News Corp Australia

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