Sixers lose composure, momentum late in loss

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Sixers lose composure, momentum late in loss

BOX SCORE

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Sixers had a game going with the Cavaliers in the fourth quarter when Royce White lost his cool.

To make matters worse, some of White’s ire was directed at Cavs guard Jarrett Jack, who wasn’t even playing in the game.

The exchange took place at the 9:23 mark with the Cavaliers in front, 75-74. White had just picked up his fifth personal foul and then things unraveled.

“I was going to plead my case to the ref,” White explained after the Sixers’ 104-93 loss (see Instant Replay). “Me and Jarrett Jack exchanged some profane words and I guess they warranted me being ejected.”

The foul was White’s fifth but a technical foul sent him to the locker room. The Cavaliers went on a 16-3 run after that and went on to win the game.

“Momentum changes, momentum swings,” White said. “There were a lot of things going on in the game, but I am frustrated to hear that swung the momentum, especially because we were so close to closing the gap.”

“I think we have to learn how to react better to some referees’ decisions,” head coach Brett Brown added. “That is a young group that just has to learn how to get through stuff, but there were a lot of positives.”

One of those was the fight displayed by the Sixers. They trailed by as much as 12 in the first half before battling back to even grab the lead in the fourth quarter.

Spencer Hawes and James Anderson led the Sixers in scoring with 17 points each. Evan Turner, in his return to the Schottenstein Center on Ohio State University’s campus, scored 14 points on 4 for 13 shooting.

Still, for as much as Brown has praised his veterans for their leadership this fall, he thought they came up short in the fourth quarter on Monday.

“I thought that our starters did not come back ready to play in the fourth period,” Brown said. “Those are the things that stood out as things we have to be aware of and get better at.”

Prior to the game, Brown said he wanted to get a good look at rookie Rodney Williams, who has been hampered by a hamstring injury throughout the preseason. Williams played 19 minutes and still has the coach’s intrigue, despite not scoring and pulling down one rebound.

“You can see enough that his athleticism is always tempting, his size, his length,” Brown said. “I always feel like I am looking at a Nicolas Batum-type of player. He hadn’t played a game or practiced that much, so there were obvious hitches to his flow, but I thought it was good enough to continue to show interest.”

“I could have been more aggressive on offense,” Williams said. “But my focus was on defense and I thought I did pretty well in that.”

The Cavaliers were led by Kyrie Irving’s 17 points and 12 assists. Tristan Thompson was a beast on the backboard, collecting 16 rebounds to go with his 15 points.

The Sixers finish the preseason Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center against the Timberwolves.

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

WAYNE, Pa. — Three steps. 

That’s all it takes before Ben Simmons is recognized walking through the streets of Philadelphia. 

This year’s No. 1 pick has been in the spotlight long before the Sixers drafted him in June, and now he's experiencing what it's like to be known as an NBA player in his new city. 

“I’ve been enjoying walking around South Street, getting some Ishkabibble's,” Simmons said Tuesday after a special appearance at the Sixers' Camp at Valley Forge Military Academy. 

At 6-foot-10, Simmons towers above most on the court, let alone on the sidewalk. Fans have been eager to welcome him to Philadelphia for a new chapter of the organization after three years of struggle. 

“Positive things,” Simmons said of the comments he receives. “I think a lot of people are excited, so I’ve been looking forward to it.”

Simmons understands the impact a professional athlete can have on young fans, and was excited to be at camp Tuesday.

Growing up in Australia, he never had the opportunity to hear from NBA players when he attended basketball camps. Now that he's in that position, the 20-year-old was glad to provide that memory to the 240 campers. 

“That would mean a lot if I was able to experience that,” Simmons said. 

Simmons demonstrated skill drills, such as passing fundamentals, interacted in a Q&A session and signed autographs for each camper. He also took individual photos for those who traveled internationally, including from Nigeria, Italy and Greece. 

“I’m just like them, but older,” Simmons said. “I’m just trying to be a good role model to them.”

Simmons plans to spend most of the offseason in Philadelphia as he gets settled into the city. He still has to move into his new home, but at least he knows where to get a cheesesteak in the meantime. 

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that the Miami Heat have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent guard Dion Waiters.

The two sides came to agreement on Monday. Waiters will make $2.9 million. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

Waiters averaged 9.8 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, but had several big games in the playoffs. He played particularly well against Dallas and San Antonio in the playoffs before his role was reduced in the seven-game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

Waiters will give the Heat another scorer off the bench (see full story).

Blazers: C.J. McCullom inked to four-year extension
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A person familiar with the deal confirms that guard CJ McCollum has agreed to a four-year, $106 million contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Monday because the deal hadn't been formally announced by the team. It was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

McCollum, who was named the NBA's Most Improved Player, averaged 20.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Blazers during the regular season. He raised his scoring average by more than 14 points over the previous season.

As the 10th overall pick for the Blazers in the 2013 draft, McCollum bided his time on the bench for his first two seasons. He became a starter in the backcourt with Damian Lillard last season after four of the team's starters departed in the offseason (see full story).

Michael Jordan donates $2 million to ease racial tensions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Jordan is trying to help ease tension between African-Americans and law enforcement.

The NBA great and Charlotte Hornets owner said Monday he's giving $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The aim is to help build trust following several shootings around the country.

Jordan says in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that "as a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers," (see full story).

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

The Sixers continued to add to their roster Monday, announcing the signing of guard Brandon Paul. 

Paul participated on the Sixers' summer league squad in Las Vegas, where he averaged 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 19.5 minutes. He also played for the Hornets in Utah. 

The 25-year-old went undrafted out Illinois in 2013 and has been playing overseas and in the D-League since then. Last season, he led FIATC Joventut (Spain) in scoring with 13.2 points per game. Paul also has been a member of the Canton Charge (D-League) and Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). 

Next season he could play for the Sixers' Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. 

Paul is one of several offseason additions for the Sixers. The team has signed Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, Sergio Rodriguez, James Webb III and Shawn Long. The Sixers also have reportedly agreed to a deal with Cat Barber.