Infotainment Factory: Simmons reveals subtle heartfelt gesture to NZ

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Saturday, 16 March 2019

Simmons reveals subtle heartfelt gesture to NZ


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Australian 76ers star Ben Simmons wrote a heartfelt tribute to New Zealand and the people of Christchurch during Philadelphia's 123-114 win over Sacramento in the NBA.

Simmons contributed 18 points for the 76ers, who won their third in a row to draw level with Indiana for third in the Eastern Conference. Simmons also earned two rebounds and five assists.

After the game the Melbourne product was asked by a reporter about his shoes which had a 'Pray for NZ' message written on them.

"It’s just sick to me," Simmons said.

"That’s all I really have [to say]. It’s devastating. It’s sad for those families.

"My dad isn’t from Australia, but I grew up there and I’ve been to New Zealand, they are great people there.

"All over the world, people are just living their lives and then for someone to take away 49 or 48 or however many people it is, it’s just really sad."

Ben Simmons' NZ tribute

Joel Embiid claimed 21 points and 17 rebounds while Jimmy Butler scored 22, as Tobias Harris and JJ Redick each added 19 points.

With Philadelphia clinging to a four-point lead with three minutes remaining, Embiid blocked Willie Cauley-Stein's lay-up attempt.

Two possessions later, Embiid rejected Barnes' close-range try before hitting a short jumper of his own to make it 121-114 with 1:45 remaining.

Elsewhere, Langston Galloway scored 23 points off the bench as the Detroit Pistons downed the depleted Los Angeles Lakers 111-97.

The Lakers rested superstar LeBron James after he scored 29 points in a loss to Toronto on Thursday. Tyson Chandler (neck), Josh Hart (knee) and Lance Stephenson (toe) also sat out, as LA lost their seventh game from eight.

James Harden had 41 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets to a tough 108-102 victory over the lowly Phoenix Suns.

The Rockets had trouble putting away the Suns, who have won just 16 games this season, and trailed for much of the night as they struggled from long-range, making just 11 of 40 3-pointers.

Milwaukee overcame a 23-point first-quarter deficit to overcome the Miami Heat 113-98 thanks to a 49th career double-double for Giannis Antetokounmpo.

He tallied 33 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists for the Bucks, who top the NBA with 52 wins, including 25 on the road.

The Bucks outscored the Heat 71-36 in the second half to seize control of the game, and Milwaukee won its league-best 16th game when trailing by more than 10 points in a game this season.

Damian Lillard's scored 24-point haul left him as Portland's second highest scorer in franchise history, another reason to celebrate a 122-110 defeat of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Lillard passed LaMarcus Aldridge (12,562) and is now 12,584, leaving only Clyde Drexler ahead of him with 18,040.

New Orleans' Julius Randle had a career-high 45 points and 11 rebounds, falling four assists short of a triple-double.

In San Antonio, LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 11 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs beat the New York Knicks 109-83 on Friday night to extend their season-best winning streak to seven games.

The Charlotte Hornets also beat the Washington Wizards 116-110 and the Los Angeles Clippers repulsed the Chicago Bulls 128-121.

Australian 76ers star Ben Simmons wrote a heartfelt tribute to New Zealand and the people of Christchurch during Philadelphia's 123-114 win over Sacramento in the NBA.

Simmons contributed 18 points for the 76ers, who won their third in a row to draw level with Indiana for third in the Eastern Conference. Simmons also earned two rebounds and five assists.

After the game the Melbourne product was asked by a reporter about his shoes which had a 'Pray for NZ' message written on them.

"It’s just sick to me," Simmons said.

"That’s all I really have [to say]. It’s devastating. It’s sad for those families.

"My dad isn’t from Australia, but I grew up there and I’ve been to New Zealand, they are great people there.

"All over the world, people are just living their lives and then for someone to take away 49 or 48 or however many people it is, it’s just really sad."

Ben Simmons' NZ tribute

Joel Embiid claimed 21 points and 17 rebounds while Jimmy Butler scored 22, as Tobias Harris and JJ Redick each added 19 points.

With Philadelphia clinging to a four-point lead with three minutes remaining, Embiid blocked Willie Cauley-Stein's lay-up attempt.

Two possessions later, Embiid rejected Barnes' close-range try before hitting a short jumper of his own to make it 121-114 with 1:45 remaining.

Elsewhere, Langston Galloway scored 23 points off the bench as the Detroit Pistons downed the depleted Los Angeles Lakers 111-97.

The Lakers rested superstar LeBron James after he scored 29 points in a loss to Toronto on Thursday. Tyson Chandler (neck), Josh Hart (knee) and Lance Stephenson (toe) also sat out, as LA lost their seventh game from eight.

James Harden had 41 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets to a tough 108-102 victory over the lowly Phoenix Suns.

The Rockets had trouble putting away the Suns, who have won just 16 games this season, and trailed for much of the night as they struggled from long-range, making just 11 of 40 3-pointers.

Milwaukee overcame a 23-point first-quarter deficit to overcome the Miami Heat 113-98 thanks to a 49th career double-double for Giannis Antetokounmpo.

He tallied 33 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists for the Bucks, who top the NBA with 52 wins, including 25 on the road.

The Bucks outscored the Heat 71-36 in the second half to seize control of the game, and Milwaukee won its league-best 16th game when trailing by more than 10 points in a game this season.

Damian Lillard's scored 24-point haul left him as Portland's second highest scorer in franchise history, another reason to celebrate a 122-110 defeat of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Lillard passed LaMarcus Aldridge (12,562) and is now 12,584, leaving only Clyde Drexler ahead of him with 18,040.

New Orleans' Julius Randle had a career-high 45 points and 11 rebounds, falling four assists short of a triple-double.

In San Antonio, LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 11 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs beat the New York Knicks 109-83 on Friday night to extend their season-best winning streak to seven games.

The Charlotte Hornets also beat the Washington Wizards 116-110 and the Los Angeles Clippers repulsed the Chicago Bulls 128-121.

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