Ben Simmons’ dream NBA match-up against LeBron James turned into a nightmare after the young star limped off the court during Cleveland’s 113-91 thrashing of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Simmons headed for the locker room with a right ankle sprain after landing awkwardly on Kyle Korver’s foot in the final quarter. It’s the same foot that Simmons injured last season, ruling him out of his entire rookie season.
The clash had been billed as ‘The King versus The Fresh Prince’ but Simmons proved no match for James. The four-time MVP dominated the first half, scoring 22 points.
James scored Cleveland’s first nine points of the game and hit a three-pointer from behind the backboard on the buzzer to give the Cavs an eight-point lead at half-time.
James finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds to give the Cavs their eighth win in a row.
Dwayne Wade made a good cameo for Cleveland, scoring 15 points off the bench.
But Australian young gun Simmons could only manage 10 points and eight rebounds in a quiet performance by his standards. The 2016 no.1 NBA draft pick went scoreless in the third quarter.
It was the first time Melbourne-born Simmons had gone head-to-head against his idol James. The match-up was seen as a clash between the world’s best player and a future superstar of the NBA.
Star centre Joel Embiid was the main man for the Sixers with 30 points and 11 rebounds. It was Embiid’s fourth 30-point game of the season and his seventh double-double in his last nine games.