Surging Sixers look to cool down Steph Curry, Warriors

NBA Basketball

Ben Simmons said Joel Embiid clearly is the NBA Most Valuable Player this season.

Embiid, in turn, said Simmons should win the league’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Both players look to bolster their respective cases in the other’s view on Monday night when the Philadelphia 76ers host Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

Embiid collected 36 points and 14 rebounds on Friday as the 76ers recorded their fourth straight win with a 106-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. Embiid has eclipsed the 30-point plateau in each of his last three games.

“I don’t think teams really know what to do when guarding him,” Simmons said of Embiid, who is averaging 30.0 points and 11.1 rebounds this season. “I think he’s clearly the MVP this season. He’s been so dominant and consistent this whole year. And he’s been healthy, which has been great for us. I don’t know how to stop him.”

Simmons had 12 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals vs. the Clippers.

“He’s been a monster defensively all season,” Embiid said of Simmons. “He deserves it. The way he guards every player on the floor — the best players, best perimeter players on the opposing team every single night — he’s been bringing it. Yes, I really do think he should be the Defensive Player of the Year.”

Simmons had 22 points and eight rebounds in Philadelphia’s 108-98 victory over Golden State on March 23.

Curry didn’t play in that game while nursing a bruised tailbone, however the two-time NBA MVP has returned with a flourish.

Curry highlighted his 47-point performance with 11 3-pointers in the Warriors’ 119-114 loss to the Boston Celtics on Saturday. The sterling performance allowed him to become the first player since Kobe Bryant (2012) to score at least 30 points in 10 straight games at age 33 or older.

“He’s just Steph Curry,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “So it’s not just the skill level; it’s the confidence, the bravado. It’s the willingness to fail and not think twice about it. He goes for it every time, every play. Competes. Not afraid of failure and trusts his skill, because he’s worked his whole life for this, and he’s just at the peak of his powers.”

Curry, however, turned his left ankle with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter on Saturday. He remained in the game and even hit three more 3-pointers before Golden State saw its four-game winning streak come to a halt.

“I kept playing, so that’s a good sign in terms of where the pain was,” Curry said. “… It’s kind of a guessing game at this point. But the fact that I could even continue was a good sign.”

Andrew Wiggins, who scored 22 points on Saturday, has made 17 of 31 shots and 7 of 13 from 3-point range in his last two games.

Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris is considered day-to-day with a knee injury that prevented him from playing on Friday. Harris collected 25 points and 13 rebounds in the previous encounter against Golden State.

–Field Level Media

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Now Trending on KRQE.com

Albuquerque Hourly Forecast

Don't Miss

MORE IN DON'T MISS

Photo Galleries

MORE PHOTO GALLERIES

News Resources

MORE NEWS RESOURCES