‘What a comeback’: Sixers’ 19-year stunner
Social media can be a cruel place, especially if you're Ben Simmons.
After being hounded for the entirety of his career so far over his jump shot, the 23-year-old didn't need it to score 18 points, a game-high 11 rebounds and eight assists but still copped a whack after a slow start needed a thrilling comeback.
But his final assist was the moment of the game as he found Turkish star Furkan Korkmaz unmarked in the corner to nail a game-winning buzzer-beating three-pointer as the Philadelphia 76ers went to 5-0 with a 129-128 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
It was an impressive victory with the Sixers coming from 21 points down midway through the third quarter, the second biggest deficit the side has chased down in the past five seasons.
The side's All-Star centre Joel Embiid, who was out for the first of his two game suspension for his fight with the Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns earlier in the week, was quick to take to social media to celebrate the win.
But even bigger for the side is that they are the only undefeated team in the NBA, having gone 5-0 for the first time since the 2000/01 season.
It appeared like it was going to be too far for the 76ers with Damian Lillard on fire for the Trail Blazers, with a game-high 33 points, including 8 from 12 from 3-point range.
The Sixers weren't about to lie down however as the side romped back into the game.
While the highlights were all about bench player Korkmaz's three-pointer with just 0.4 seconds left, it was on the back of the epic comeback led by Simmons.
"I trust everybody on the floor, I know what players are going to be open," the point guard said after the win. "As soon as I saw Furkan open, I think he was shocked he was open, but I trusted Furkan to make that shot.
"He's one of my teammates and he works hard every day, he's a great competitor and a great player.
"I trust all my teammates to make shots when it comes down to it, I'm not surprised, I'm just happy that he had the opportunity."
But it didn't stop the Aussie from copping a whack as it looked like the 76ers were facing their first loss of the year.
Ben Simmons kinda killing the Sixers tonight.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) November 3, 2019
Ben Simmons has had by far his worst game of the season. He's contributed to spacing issues on offense and left a lot to be desired defensively.— Liberty Ballers (@Liberty_Ballers) November 3, 2019
It quickly shifted as Simmons hit two clutch free throws and came up with a key steal.
Ben Simmons on both ends! 💥— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 3, 2019
Sixers vs. Blazers is coming down to the wire on NBA TV! pic.twitter.com/ngdYSvVhik
Aussie Utah Jazz star Joe Ingles is one Australia's best NBA exports but he's also one of the best people in the league.
Ingles responded to a tweet from the mother of a 21-year-old who was living with autism and had been non-verbal most of his life.
His mother posted a heartbreaking question on Twitter, which caught the attention of the Aussie star.
My 21 year old autistic son has no communication skills. Today he asked me his first question ever. It was. “Would someone like me?” pic.twitter.com/vw1DMQN9s8— kerry bloch (@dsmom58) October 30, 2019
While there were plenty of responses sharing how people were eager to be his friend, Ingles' response took the cake, inviting the youngster and his family to a Jazz game, an offer that was quickly accepted.
Thank you for the amazing offer! David loves basketball!! Would love ❤️ to make this happen!— kerry bloch (@dsmom58) November 1, 2019
Aussie netball star and Ingles' wife Renae then invited them to the annual Autism Awareness Night.
Thank you 🙏. That would be absolutely amazing!!!— kerry bloch (@dsmom58) November 2, 2019
Autism has touched the Ingles family with their son Jacob diagnosed with the disorder.
Ingles' teammate Georges Niang summed up the gesture from the big hearted Aussie star.
Man how can you not love this dude!! Not all super hero’s wear capes they just wear the number 2 on there back and look like JOE INGLES! https://t.co/kojJ0gQDHJ— Georges Niang (@GeorgesNiang20) November 1, 2019
AUSSIE STARS ON FIRE
The Australian run at the World Cup has continued into the new NBA season with Aron Baynes and Patty Mills pulling off huge results.
Baynes, in his first year for the Phoenix Sun, converted a career-best four 3-pointers Saturday night, leading to 20 points and the Phoenix Suns used a third quarter burst to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 114-105.
"I could have made a better play, but at the end of the day, happy it went down," he said. "Better to learn in victory than it is in defeat, though. We'll take it."
Devin Booker had 21 points to help the Suns improve to 4-2.
It comes a day after Mills led the San Antonio Spurs to a win over the Golden State Warriors, scoring 31 points off the bench.
Mills, who starred in college for Saint Mary's in nearby Moraga, California, hit six of his nine 3-point attempts and finished three points shy of his career high of 34 points. That career-best game came against the Warriors on April 26, 2012.
"I mean, just (being in) attack mode mindset, being aggressive. I think that was more the key than anything," Mills said. "You've got to be in that mindset."
Hopefully the Aussie stars can keep it going into the Olympic year.
- with AP
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