Breakfast Special: Ben Simmons Does the Unthinkable

Ben Simmons went 0-of-1 from the three-point arc in Sunday’s 143-120 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, as his Philadelphia 76ers finally saw their cowardly lion of a guard shoot a three in the run of play.

Sure, he missed, but the shot rimmed out, looking at least as good as any horror show of a three-pointer that Russell Westbrook‘s attempted this season.

Simmons had a terrible game—he hit just 3-of-13 overall for eight points, seven assists, and just three rebounds—but we may be seeing the beginnings of Simmons actually turning into a post-1979 NBA perimeter player.

Take away Simmons’ 3-of-13 and the Sixers hit 63.1 percent of their shots. Even with Simmons’ contribution, Philly hit on 57.7 percent of their shots and 12-of-24 from three.

Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 37 points and 14 rebounds on 12-of-16 shooting as they overcame a 39-point night from Kyle Kuzma to pick up the win.

Embiid is your man of the match:

Oh My Luka

Luka Doncic continues to consolidate his position as the unquestioned Rookie of the Year, his late-game heroics and 28 points overall powering the Dallas Mavericks to a 102-101 come-from-behind win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The score was 92-78 Portland after three; the Mavs’ defense held the Blazers to just nine fourth-quarter points.

Portland gave this game away by giving the ball away; they committed 19 turnovers despite only six steals from the Mavs’ defense. That’s your clear sign of unforced errors, mental mistakes, and miscommunications, a dangerous combination in a team with deep playoff aspirations.

Portland also shot just 57.1 percent from the line, another fine way to lose a winnable game.

Doncic was one of only two Mavs players who effectively got the job done—Tim Hardaway Jr., with 24 points on 9-of-18, was the other. Dallas shot 40.9 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from the line,

But they came together with the game on the line, shut down their opponents, and took advantage of the extra possessions, and the Rookie of the Year is the man of the match:

Dubs Keep A-Rollin’

Kevin Durant had 39 points on 16-of-24, including 15-of-17 from two-point range. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had 25 and 29 respectively on a combined 11-of-23 from three-point range.

And the Golden State Warriors rode that star power to a narrow 120-118 win over the Miami Heat.

Draymond Green continues to put up bizarre stat lines, this time managing five points, seven rebounds, and 14 assists. Green took just three shots in the whole game, hitting one of them, and going 3-of-5 from the line.

The Warriors’ depth is a question to be answered in the playoffs; only three guys got into double-figures, but they’re all All-Stars.

Winning the turnover battle (16-12) and holding Miami to just eight free throw attempts (of which the Heat made only four) was a key factor as well.

Miami was up 19. No lead is safe in today’s NBA. And the Warriors get the total team highlights:

Lightning Round!

Marvin Bagley has been a fantastic sixth man for the Kings so far during his rookie season, and his 32 points powered Sacramento to a 117-104 win over the Phoenix Suns.

The Kings shot an amazing 44 free throws during the game, hitting on 32 of them, and they managed to be less ugly from three (9-of-31 vs. 6-of-27 for Phoenix) in a game where “less ugly” meant a victory.

Bagley is your man of the match:

And finally, the Orlando Magic took a trip to Atlanta and ran the Hawks off the floor with a Total Team Effort in which seven Magic players scored in double figures.

Nikola Vucevic‘s 19 points led Magic scorers, D.J. Augustin had 14 points and 10 assists, and the Magic made 25-of-28 free throws on the night and turned the ball over just eight times to secure the 124-108 win.

Evan Fournier‘s 17 points get him into the highlight reel:

I’ll admit, I don’t get all these musical references in the highlight tweets—I’m a metalhead at heart—but I’m sure they’ll make sense to somebody.

Thanks for bearing with me during some feature downtime; the Special’s here for you every morning right on schedule, so stay tuned and thanks for reading!