Embiid & Simmons Take Chicago

by Lauren Rosen

Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are headed to All-Star weekend on quite the high note.

After the 76ers’ (34-21) statement victory over the LA Clippers (37-17) at home Tuesday, the pair is Chicago-bound to face off (Simmons on Team LeBron and Embiid on Team Giannis) in the All-Star game for the second straight year.

While All-Star weekend represents an opportunity for the majority of players across the league to reset, Simmons and Embiid will be busy, playing alongside some of the league’s best before entering the final push to the playoffs.

With the Sixers now riding a three-game winning streak, Brett Brown called Tuesday’s performance one of the best that the Simmons-Embiid duo has played together.

“When we add up Ben Simmons and Joel’s stat line, it’s arguably the best game that those two have paired with since I’ve been the coach here.” Brown said postgame. “The partnership between Joel and Ben needs to be acknowledged.”

That performance included Simmons’ sixth triple-double of the season, as he recorded  26 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Embiid added 26 points of his own, along with nine rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.

“I think the chemistry was just good – me finding him, him being a force down low and getting open. It just worked well tonight,” Simmons said. “I think we did a good job of getting mismatches and finding them.”

In the midst of their third season playing together, Embiid sees the growth too.

“We’re getting better and it’s only going to get better,” Embiid said of the partnership.

Following an impressive month that included an Eastern Conference Player of the Week nod, Simmons is now averaging 16.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, a career-high 8.3 assists, and a career-high 2.2 steals per game.

Simmons continues to lead the league in steals. 

After battling  back from injury, Embiid enters All-Star weekend averaging 22.9 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game.

He said he’s ready to embrace the path ahead alongside Simmons and the rest of the talented squad.

“We still have a lot of potential, so I’m excited…but it’s not [just about Ben and me],” Embiid said. “We have great teammates that help make the game easier for us. He’s one of them, so we have to keep trusting our teammates and try to get better.”

Brown added that he hopes All-Star weekend can give both Sixers a chance to observe and learn from their fellow elite competitors up close.

All-Star weekend festivities begin Friday, and Embiid and Simmons will take the floor Sunday for the main event.

Check back to sixers.com for updates throughout the weekend.

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