Wayne Simmonds Crushes Tyler Ennis, Pulverizes Mike Weber, Becomes Public Enemy Number One in Buffalo

Wayne Simmonds Crushes Tyler Ennis, Pulverizes Mike Weber, Becomes Public Enemy Number One in Buffalo

Something tells us when the Flyers meet Buffalo for the
final time this season on April 13, somebody gonna throw down. The Sabres took
exception to a violent hit Wayne Simmonds delivered to Tyler Ennis in the first
period of Sunday night’s action, and they never appeared to feel as though the
score had been settled.

Probably because it wasn’t. Mike Weber arrived on the scene
shortly thereafter, and while he receives an A for effort, the Buffalo defenseman
gets absolutely tagged for his trouble. Have a look:

For what it’s worth, no penalty was levied against Simmonds
for the hit on Ennis, who would be unable to return. Replay showed Ennis turned
toward the boards as Simmer closed in, leaving himself vulnerable when the hit
arrived. A dangerous play to be sure, but there was no intent to injure, and
the no-call was seemed justified.

Besides the KO, Weber received a two-minute minor for
instigating, along with a 10-minute misconduct. The zebras tried to prevent
tempers from flaring further, later throwing John Scott off the ice for another
misconduct as he tried to provoke Zac Rinaldo before a faceoff.

Needless to say, the Sabres were not thrilled about any of these developments. Steve Ott was
among the white sweaters chirping on the ice most, and he and teammates were still
unhappy once the game had ended.

“That really hurt us when Webby
gets an instigating penalty for asking somebody to fight who had just
demolished somebody else in the numbers,” said Steve Ott.

“They thought they made the right
call on it,” captain Jason Pominville said incredulously. “It was a push. It
wasn’t a hit. That’s what the guy next to the hit told me. It’s tough. You lose
one of your top centers, one of your most creative players offensively, out of
a hit we feel wasn’t right.”

As if all that wasn’t enough, Luke Schenn drilled tiny
Nathan Gerbe into the boards late in the third period, this time drawing an
obvious whistle. Gerbe would be okay, but he was none too pleased either, attempting to give Claude Giroux the business during a scrum in the final
minutes.

The refs
did a good job of not letting things get out of control this time around, while the closeness of
the game probably prevented additional fisticuffs toward the end of the
contest. No way either side is simply going to forget about this one though, no matter
where either club is in the standings once the rematch rolls around.

Mark your calendar.

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Report: Nelson Agholor expected to be active for Eagles vs. Bengals

Report: Nelson Agholor expected to be active for Eagles vs. Bengals

Nelson Agholor is expected to be active for the Eagles against the Bengals on Sunday, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan. 

Agholor, who has struggled mightily in his second pro season, was held out of the Eagles' loss to the Packers on Monday night. Undrafted rookie and preseason standout Paul Turner dressed in his place.

The Eagles may be without their leading receiver, Jordan Matthews, who has an ankle injury and is considered a game-time decision.

For the season, Agholor has 27 catches for 264 yards in 10 games. His lone touchdown reception came in the Eagles' win over the Browns in Week 1.

Instant Replay: Celtics 107, Sixers 106

Instant Replay: Celtics 107, Sixers 106

BOX SCORE

Rewind 24 hours.

The Sixers were walking off the court Friday night after a dismal blowout loss to the Magic that left Brett Brown reflecting on Saturday, “Here in Philadelphia, at home, that’s not good enough.”

The Sixers had lacked fire and grit, especially with Joel Embiid on the floor against a sub-.500 Magic team that had played the night before in Memphis. 

They had a day to turn it around. A playoff contending Celtics squad was coming to town and Embiid wasn’t available because of his back-to-back limitations. The shorthanded Sixers (see below) had a tall task ahead of them. 

The Sixers reacted by jumping out early and kept the Celtics at bay in the first half. Even when the Celtics cut their lead to three midway through the second quarter, the Sixers responded with an 8-0 burst to go up by a game-high 11 points. 

The Celtics exposed the Sixers' defensive void in the paint without Embiid in the third. With the Sixers up 65-58, Isaiah Thomas drew a foul against Jahlil Okafor. That play sparked a 9-0 Celtics run over the next two minutes, in which Thomas scored six of those points (including four at the line). The Celtics took back the lead during that stretch and forced the Sixers to play catchup.

The Sixers cut the Celtics lead to one in the fourth with a three from Dario Saric, who played one of his most aggressive games of his short NBA career. After the Celtics jumped back up by seven, the Sixers kept fighting and tied the game 100 apiece. The Celtics were able to pull away and finished with a one-point win, 107-106, after Ersan Ilyasova drained a three at the buzzer. 

Inside the stats
Thomas exploded for 37 points (11 for 19 from the field, 2 for 3 from three, 13 for 15 from the line), four rebounds, and seven assists.

Saric recorded a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds off the bench, both tying career-highs. 

Ersan Ilyasova dropped 18 points, including three treys, and six rebounds.

Okafor and Sergio Rodriguez scored 15 apiece, with Rodriguez adding eight assists. 

Avery Bradley dropped 20 points and nine rebounds. 

Stauskas starts in place of Covington
Brown turned to shooting guard Nik Stauskas to slide over to the three spot in place of the injured Robert Covington (see below). 

“Boston’s perimeter defense is as good as it is in the NBA,” Brown explained. “I think you need to have more ball handlers, people who can make a play, on the perimeter … I feel that Nik has that ability to put it to the floor and disrupt that aggressive pressure that the Celtics backcourt can put on you.”

Broken ankles
Saric came up with the Sixers' highlight play of the game when he did this to Jonas Jerebko in the third quarter for an instant highlight reel moment. 

Always a student
Not playing, still learning. Embiid has been praised for being an eager student of the game. During warmups he sat courtside to watch film on a laptop even though he wasn’t suiting up. 

Injury updates
Joel Embiid is not playing in back-to-back games and sat out the back end of this home-home series for rest … Robert Covington sat out with a sprained left knee he suffered on Friday after colliding with T.J. McConnell chasing a ball out of bounds … Jerryd Bayless missed his fourth straight game with left wrist soreness. 

Up next
The Sixers host the Nuggets on Monday night.