Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons loses the ball as Los Angeles Clippers forward Tobias Harris closes in. Picture: Alex Gallardo/AP
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons loses the ball as Los Angeles Clippers forward Tobias Harris closes in. Picture: Alex Gallardo/AP

Embiid loses it after collision with Simmons

THE Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers had their fair share of scuffles on Wednesday (AEDT).

The one a lot of people will probably be talking about after the game, though, is the incident between two teammates: Joel Embiid and Australia's Ben Simmons.

Early in the third quarter, both went up for an uncontested defensive rebound, with Simmons inadvertently elbowing Embiid in the face.

The centre got the rebound but went down in pain, before storming angrily to the bench and seemingly yelling obscenities about Simmons.

"What is he doing?" Embiid yelled, as he walked to the bench. "F---in' fighting for a f---in' rebound?"

One frame of thought is to read into this as a sign of ongoing tension between the pair, but that would be making a mountain out of a molehill.

While they aren't the best of friends, it's more to do with differing personalities than any sort of actual discord.

The more likely conclusion is that Embiid's frustration stemmed from the fractured orbital bone he suffered at the end of the 2017-18 season - also after a collision with a teammate.

"I feel good. I was a little bit out of shape, and then the elbow that I got almost knocked me out, but I'm fine, I'll be fine," Embiid said post-game. "I'm Joel! I'll be good."

Still, despite that moment - and a heap of other tense ones throughout the evening - the 76ers were able to walk out of Staples Center with the 119-113 win, holding off a later Clippers surge.

Simmons finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, and although he missed a trio of free throws that would've put the game away it didn't end up costing his team - instead, the Australian inbounded the ball off his defender's back, to himself, for a dunk to seal the win.

Embiid led the 76ers with 28 points and 18 rebounds, and Jimmy Butler had 16 points, six rebounds and four assists before being ejected from the contest.

Midway through the final period, Butler got tangled with Avery Bradley, with both players shoving each other, leading to an ejection for the pair.

That came after a double technical was called on Embiid and Patrick Beverely for a separate altercation.

Brett Brown's Philadelphia team got a significant contribution from its bench, led in part by Sydney's Jonah Bolden, who finished with a career-high nine points to go with six rebounds and one block. The forward was active on both sides of the floor, with five of his rebounds coming on the offensive end.

Having moved to 24-14 with the win, the 76ers will travel to Phoenix for a match-up with the Suns on Thursday (AEDT).

For the Clippers, Lou Williams came off the bench for 22 points, four rebounds and three assists, and Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris both registered 21 points.