Philadelphia 76ers 103 def. Memphis Grizzlies 95
Ben Simmons was the star of the show once again on Monday (all times AEST), wreaking havoc for the Philadelphia 76ers in their 103-95 win against Memphis.
Simmons was the definitive player of the game, with 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, splitting his time between the point guard and power forward positions with deceptive ease and brilliance.
The Aussie lit up the court early in the game, securing three baskets and creating two more to elevate the 76ers 10-3 in a scintillating first two minutes.
He finished the first half with a dominating 15 points, seven rebounds and two assists, and continued to be the crucial cog for Philadelphia in the second half, making a vital steal as Memphis closed to four points in the final quarter to ensure his team’s victory.
Simmons’ performance was the highlight for the 76ers, who are beginning to find real momentum with four straight wins.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 3, 2018
San Antonio Spurs 131 def. Portland Trail Blazers 118
After a pair of embarrassing, demoralising losses against the Timberwolves and Rockets in the past two games, the Spurs have regained some confidence.
With the help of Patty Mills, Greg Popovich’s team claimed a 131-118 victory over the Trail Blazers on Monday.
Mills wasn’t the most exciting player on the court but he did deliver a typically solid performance in 25 minutes of game time off the bench, ending with 15 points, six assists, one rebound and three triples.
The Spurs are now 11-12 and are twelfth in the Western Conference standings, standing two positions above Utah Jazz where Mills’ fellow Australian Joe Ingles also featured in a narrow 102-100 loss against Miami Heat.
Miami Heat 102 def. Utah Jazz 100
Ingles finished with 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in 29 minutes of court time, as always contributing reliably and accurately for the Jazz.
Dante Exum also represented Australia for Utah, but played just two minutes off the bench and finished the game with one point. It looks like the addition of Kyle Korver might be hurting his playing time.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 3, 2018
New York Knicks 136 def. Milwaukee Bucks 134 (OT)
At the other end of the US, Thon Maker managed 13 minutes of court time for the second-placed Milwaukee Bucks in their tight 136-134 overtime loss against the Knicks on Sunday.
Maker tallied nine points and two rebounds in his short time on the court, while his Australian teammate Mathew Dellavedova was sidelined yet again as the Bucks elevate around MVP front-runner Giannis Antekounmpo, who once again starred with 33 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Dellavedova, who is making over $US 9 million each year on his current contract, has played in barely half of the games this season for the Bucks, and when he does make the court (generally in blowouts) he averages only seven minutes of game time.
Minnesota Timberwolves 109 def. by Boston Celtics 118
Aron Baynes was the last Australian to play in the NBA this weekend, coming off the bench to play in the centre for Boston in their 109-118 win over the Timberwolves on Sunday. Baynes played a small role, gathering four rebounds and one assist in 17 minutes of court time.