The Sixers cruised to their second straight win over Miami on Thursday.
After a Wednesday afternoon that was filled with trade rumors galore, the Sixers had to gather themselves for another showdown with the Miami Heat one day later.
The Sixers finally got some reinforcements in the way of Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, and Matisse Thybulle, who all returned to action after missing some time due to COVID-19 protocols, while the Heat were still without a majority of their best players.
After Joel Embiid awed everyone with his 45 point performance on Tuesday, it was Shake Milton and Ben Simmons who would go on to pace the Sixers to a 125-108 victory this evening. Milton poured in a game-high 31 points on 11-15 shooting, while Ben Simmons returned to the spotlight with his 30th career triple-double.
The Oklahoma native was specifically dominant coming off the bench tonight, as he continues to thrive in his newly designated “sixth man” role. Doc Rivers spoke a lot during the offseason about Milton being a big part of the offense this year, and thus far, it’s proving to be an abundantly successful relationship.
Simmons on the other hand looked like his usual self again after a messy game against the Heat earlier in the week. Ben spent the majority of Wednesday waiting to see if he’d be dealt in a deal for James Harden or not, so it was nice to see him put all that aside come tip-off. He tied his season-high assist total with 12, and he led the Sixers in rebounding tonight with 10.
Rookies Tyrese Maxey and Isaiah Joe continue to impress, as the two combined to contribute an additional 27 points. Maxey still looks the biggest steal of the 2021 draft, and Joe has started drumming up some conversation on whether he deserves a more permanent role in the rotation moving forward. The second-round pick nailed four threes tonight, with one of them coming from way downtown.
It was a comfortable win for Philadelphia, and one that they can hope to build off of moving forward Seth Curry should hopefully be returning to the lineup in the near future, which will only aid the Sixers’ quest to remain in first place in the Eastern Conference.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire