Quotebook | Getting Back on Track

by Lauren Rosen

A lot can happen in a New York minute—and boy, did Ben Simmons make the most of his 37.

Finishing with a career-high 22 rebounds, along with 20 points and nine assists, the young point man led the 76ers (28-16) to a much-needed 108-105 victory over the Knicks (10-33).

Here’s what was said afterwards:

Ben Simmons shone Sunday, becoming the youngest Sixer score 20-plus points and grab 20-plus boards in the same game. Brett Brown discussed Simmons’ career night:

“I thought [Simmons] did a good job of understanding the pace and flow of the game when at times we felt we needed to go to Joel.  He didn’t force-feed the issue with his speed. We ran stuff… I thought he did a really good job of running the team and understanding the pace of the game and when we needed to be a bit more static, a bit more deliberate, go to Jimmy (Butler) or go to Joel (Embiid).  I thought he was excellent tonight.”

The Knicks kept things competitive, narrowing the Sixers’ wire-to-wire lead to just a point in the third quarter, and to two in the fourth. Simmons addressed his squad’s resilience:

“You’re not going to have a perfect game. You’re going to have games where you have lapses, but it’s about correcting them.”

Wilson Chandler left no column of his stat line in Sunday’s contest untouched: points (7), rebounds (2), assists (1), blocks (1), and steals (1). JJ Redick delivered yet another solid performance, scoring 22 points. Brown commended his veterans:

“Wilson and JJ are men. They’re adults. They’ve been in the league for a while. They came up with some big plays tonight.”

The second half of January poses a demanding stretch for the Sixers, as seven teams currently in the playoff picture await. Joel Embiid (26 pts, 8 reb, 6 blk) is up for the challenge:

“The next three weeks are really going to shape our season. I’m excited to compete… It’ll be a great test.”

Brown also shared his thoughts about the Sixers’ challenging upcoming stretch:

“I think the [difficulty] level rises. I think our talent rises. And I look forward to playing some of the elite…My mission continues to be the same: it’s to grow our defense, and help our group coexist.”

More immediately, the team will welcome former Sixers Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and Jerryd Bayless back to The Center as Timberwolves on Tuesday for the first time. Joel Embiid said he’s looking forward to facing his old friends:

“I just talked to [Saric and Covington] yesterday, both of them. I’m excited to have them back at the [The Center]. Dario was a funny dude - just around the locker room, he was loved, and just a fun dude.”

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