The Roar
The Roar


The night young prince Simmons upstaged the King

Ben Simmons. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Roar Pro
8th April, 2018

The Philadelphia 76ers have extended their winning streak to 13 games with an incredible win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The superlatives for point guard Ben Simmons are starting to run out.

Over this 13 game streak, the young Aussie has become one of only two players in history to have ten triple-doubles in their rookie season – the other being Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson

Along with Robertson, Simmons became the second player to ever record over 1200 points, 600 rebounds and 600 assists in their first year of NBA action.

Coming into the game against a red-hot Cavaliers team, that had won ten of their last 11 games, the 76ers jumped their opponents to have a 41-28 lead after the first quarter.

Simmons was playing a cool, composed game, setting up shooters such as JJ Redick and Marco Belinelli on the outside, and pulling off his own highlight with a between-the-legs move in transition before getting into the lane to hammer home a big two-handed dunk.

At halftime, Philly had a 23-point lead, having held LeBron James to only nine points. Simmons was leading the way, with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.



Starting the third, the Cavaliers came out aggressive, shooting 71 per cent from the field – including six three-pointers. LeBron turned it on, scoring 19 points as his side scored 43 points to close the gap to seven with a quarter to play.

In the fourth, LeBron added Ersan Ilyasova to list of players he’s put on a poster in the last month – joining Brooklyn’s Joe Harris and Portland’s Jusuf Nurkic – dunking right in the Turk’s face.

With one second left, the Cavs were down by three and LeBron was fouled on a three-pointer. Needing all three to send it to overtime, he missed the second.

Philadelphia knocked off the Cavaliers 132-130, in the process overtaking Cleveland at third in the Eastern Conference.

As for Simmons, he has arrived. The 21-year-old notched up his 12th career triple-double but it was the best and most important of his career to date, finishing with 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists – the highest-scoring triple-double of his career.

He knocked off the Cavaliers, leading the team without All-Star centre Joel Embiid, confirming Simmons as the heir apparent to The King’s throne.

In a postgame interview with broadcaster ESPN, Simmons said of LeBron, “I’ve got so much respect for him. Probably one of the greatest players to ever play, if not the greatest.


“Tonight, I’m playing the best player to play the game, so I mean, that’s enough motivation right there. And that’s where I want to be one day.”

This game would have to stand out as one of the best so far of this crazy NBA season. It was high scoring, filled with highlights, and had an amazing comeback attempt from the Cavaliers who were down by 30 at one point.

But the highlight was the King going toe-to-toe with the prince – two players showcasing their full array of talents.