|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CTNaN:� , October 23, 2017
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan Attendance: 13,709
Simmons' triple-double lifts 76ers to first win
(TSX / STATS) -- DETROIT -- Ben Simmons recorded a triple-double in his fourth career game. He was more pleased that his team got its first victory of the season.
Simmons, the top pick in the 2016 draft, piled up 21 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists as the Philadelphia Sixers downed the Detroit Pistons 97-86 on Monday at Little Caesars Arena.
"I'm just glad we won, honestly," said Simmons, who missed all of last season after undergoing foot surgery but has double-doubles in each of his first four games. "That means so much more than stats for me. It's awesome to have a triple-double but at the same time, it's even better to win, especially with these guys and a young team like this."
Brett Brown and his coaching staff decided during the preseason to make Simmons the team's floor leader and he's quickly become a matchup nightmare.
"Him with the ball, able to do the things he does, produces a lot of these mismatches and numbers," Brown said. "We were able to post him, he's able to see over pick-and-rolls, and you see how gifted he is in early offense and the open court. He's got that breakaway speed that's jaw-dropping. And he's 6-foot-10. That stat line, we were kind of seeing snapshots of that the first three games. It just seems a lot more special when it's associated with a win."
Joel Embiid powered for 30 points and nine rebounds while Robert Covington added 13 points for Philadelphia (1-3).
Both teams had to deal with some slippery conditions at the new arena, which was hosting just its second regular-season game.
"You can appreciate our reaction when you see Joel Embiid slip and slide and then hold his knee," Brown said. "And then 30 seconds later, Jerryd Bayless goes down and starts holding his hip. We've experienced a lot of injuries. It's not anybody's fault. It just happened. There was a wet part of the floor and we were lucky to get away without any injuries."
Reggie Jackson led Detroit (2-2) with 16 points and seven assists, and he added six rebounds. Avery Bradley supplied 15 points and Andre Drummond contributed 14 points with 14 rebounds for the Pistons.
The Pistons erased a 21-point deficit against the New York Knicks in their last game. They couldn't duplicate the feat.
"It's a little bit mind-boggling, two games in a row where we just really weren't ready," Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I didn't think we played as hard as we were capable of at the start of the game."
Van Gundy blamed himself in large part for the loss.
"I just didn't find an answer with (Simmons) at all," he said. "I'm not trying to protect anybody. There are things guys could've done better, but game plan-wise, I did a really, really poor job in terms of Simmons. It's frustrating, and I didn't do a very good job offensively, either."
Detroit trailed by 13 at halftime, and then gradually chipped away.
The Pistons got within three on three occasions early in the final quarter before a Covington three-point play provided some breathing room. Simmons then fired a cross-court pass to T.J. McConnell for a 3-pointer, extending Philadelphia's lead to 87-78.
A Covington 3-pointer nudged the lead to double digits again at 90-80. The Pistons scored the next six points, but free throws by Simmons and Embiid stopped the run. Simmons then found Embiid for a layup to notch the triple-double.
"I felt like I needed to just kind of take over and find guys and make plays," Simmons said. "Coach starting trusting me more toward the end and he told me that. So that means a lot, having the coach's trust."
NOTES: Pistons C Boban Marjanovic was inactive. ... Detroit C Andre Drummond, a career 38.3 percent free-throw shooter, is now 10-for-12 from the line this season. "I think it's real," coach Stan Van Gundy said of Drummond's improved stroke. "What it allows us to do is have him on the floor at the end of games." ... Pistons SG Reggie Bullock served the fourth game of his five-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy. ... Sixers PG Markelle Fultz, the first overall pick in the 2017 draft, is showing his age in the early going, according to coach Brett Brown. "He's a great person, he wants to be coached, it's just life in real time in the NBA at 19 can catch lots of people off guard," Brown said. Fultz scored two points in 16 minutes Monday.
Updated October 23, 2017