The Houston Rockets allowed Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons to take jump shots on Monday night and he made them pay.
In Philadelphia’s 115-107 win in Houston, Simmons made 10 of 15 shots, many of them from mid-range, to score a career-high 24 points, adding nine assists and seven rebounds. When asked why he took more jumpers than he had in his first six games, Simmons’ teammate Amir Johnson answered from behind the group of reporters.
“People don’t know he can shoot,” Johnson said. “Buckets.”
Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown said Simmons’ ability to reliably make jump shots will complement his ability to drive or use his length in the paint even more effective.
“I’m really leaving the whole evolution of his jump shot — when he wants to shoot it, when he feels comfortable shooting it — with him,” Brown said. “When he feels the confidence to shoot things and people sag off of him, he’s going to shoot it. If he doesn’t, so be it, he’ll go find another way to impact the game. It’s coming.”
Simmons, the 2016 first-overall pick, is shooting 51 percent through his first seven games but has struggled at times outside of the paint and has missed all four 3-point attempts.
“I’m comfortable taking them,” Simmons said of jump shots. “I’ve got to start doing that more often.”
Raptors down Blazers
DeMar DeRozan had 25 points and the shorthanded Toronto Raptors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 99-85 on Monday night.
The Blazers were foiled at home by a cold second quarter with just six total points and Toronto went on to lead by as many as 26. The win extended the Raptors’ winning streak over Portland to five straight games.
Damian Lillard had a season-high 36 points for the Blazers, who got within 13 in the final quarter. CJ McCollum, who had scored 20 or more points in each of Portland’s first six games this season, had 16.
Kyle Lowry added a season-high 19 points and added 10 rebounds for the Raptors.
Toronto was without center Serge Ibaka, who is averaging 15 points a game this season, because of swelling in his right knee. The Raptors also missed Jonas Valanciunas for a fourth straight game with a left ankle sprain.
DeRozan had 15 points in the first quarter and the teams were knotted at 29 going into the second. DeRozan led the Raptors with 24 points in the 101-92 victory over the Lakers. (The Associated Press)
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