PHILADELPHIA — Ben Simmons had 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists, and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 110-103 on Tuesday night.
Joel Embiid also scored 26 points and Tobias Harris added 17 points and 12 boards for Philadelphia, which has the NBA’s best home record at 25-2. Josh Richardson scored 17 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.
Richardson nailed his third 3-pointer of the quarter to give Philadelphia a 102-94 lead with 4:44 left. Then he scored on a driving left-handed layup and made the free throw to complete the 3-point play, extending the lead to 11. His free throw made it 110-100 with 1:15 remaining after the Clippers cut the deficit to single digits.
Leonard faced the Sixers for the first time since his quadruple-doink, buzzer-beater knocked Philadelphia of the playoffs last May. Leonard’s shot gave Toronto a 92-90 victory in Game 7 and the Raptors went on to win the NBA championship.
The Sixers opened the second half with a 16-5 run, taking a 70-59 lead. Simmons, Embiid and Glenn Robinson III combined for 14 of the 16.
The Sixers led by 12 in the second quarter after Embiid’s reverse layup two minutes in, but the Clippers chipped away. Los Angeles closed out the half with a layup by Williams and pull-up jumper by Leonard to tie it at 54.
Embiid heard some boos mixed in with loud cheers when he was introduced. The All-Star center shushed the crowd and screamed an expletive following a shot Sunday after the team heard boos. He exacerbated the situation with a social media post Monday and a friendly exchange with Jimmy Butler, hinting he might join his former teammate who now plays for Miami.
But it was all love for Embiid in the fourth quarter after he and Marcus Morris got into a shoving match. Embiid did a shimmy for fans and got a loud ovation (see the video above).