Instant Replay: Clippers 107, Sixers 90

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Instant Replay: Clippers 107, Sixers 90

BOX SCORE

The Los Angeles Clippers lead the Pacific Division and two All-Stars in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. They also have proved that they are a complete team by winning 18 consecutive games earlier this season.

The Sixers may have an All-Star of their own, but they are far from being a well-rounded team. They were dominated from start to finish in a 107-90 loss to the Clippers on Monday to close out their eight-game homestand.

The Sixers allowed the Clippers to shoot 59 percent from the floor, including 8 of 19 from three-point range as their record dropped to 22-28.

Turning point
The Clippers were been dubbed “Lob City” Clippers with high-fliers Griffin and DeAndre Jordon on the roster. The highlight dunks from those two may get all the attention, but the Clippers actually do get after opponents defensively as they hold teams to the fourth-fewest points per game (93.6).

Los Angeles led 30-22 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Clippers limited the Sixers to 11 points on 5-for-22 shooing. The Clippers took a comfortable 23-point lead into the locker room at the half and never looked back.

Follow the leader
Griffin and Paul put on a show Monday night. Paul scored 21 points and handed out 11 assists in 25 minutes. Griffin totaled 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out five assists. Jordan pulled down 10 boards and scored eight points.

Nick Young snapped out of his shooting slump to lead the Sixers with 29 points. Evan Turner, Jeremy Pargo and Jrue Holiday were the only other Sixers in double figures with 10 points each.

Stat-egic
Lavoy Allen grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds on Saturday against Charlotte. Against the Clippers, Allen played 29 minutes and did not have a rebound until there was 2:30 left to play in the third quarter.

Allen pulled down just one more board before his night ended.

Take a bow
Jamal Crawford is a good bet to win Sixth Man of the Year. He came off the Clippers’ bench to score 20 points on an efficient 8-for-10 shooting.

What’s next?
The Sixers play their final game before the All-Star break in Milwaukee Wednesday night.

The Bucks beat the Sixers for a second time this season on Jan. 22 at the Bradley Center, 110-102. Milwaukee has since slipped to eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

In that meeting the Bucks’ guards dominated the Sixers’ backcourt. Brandon Jennings scored 25 points, while Monta Ellis dropped in 18. The duo combined to shoot 15 for 27 from the floor.

Meanwhile, Holiday and Royal Ivey were 6 of 15 together for 17 points.

Ersan Ilyasova led all scorers with 27 points and was high man in rebounding with 16.

NBA Playoffs: Raptors advance past Bucks despite blowing 25-point lead

NBA Playoffs: Raptors advance past Bucks despite blowing 25-point lead

MILWAUKEE -- DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points and the Toronto Raptors squandered a 25-point lead late in the third quarter before holding on for a 92-89 victory Thursday night over the Milwaukee Bucks to take their first-round playoff series in six games.

Cory Joseph had five points in a 9-0 run in the final 2 minutes, including a 3-pointer with 1:27 left, to help stave off the pesky Bucks.

The Raptors move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals in a series that starts Monday. They'll need to work on finishing off opponents in the second half.

Jason Terry's 3 with 3:06 left gave the Bucks an 80-78 lead, completing an unlikely comeback from the 25-point deficit with 5:16 left in the third quarter. The Raptors looked as if they were on cruise control after DeMarre Carroll's 3 gave them the 71-46 advantage.

Giannis Antetokounmpo spearheaded the second-half rally for Milwaukee. He had 34 points.

But the Bucks finished one comeback short.

The furious effort appeared to sap the energy of the young Bucks. Even Antetokounmpo, a renowned gym rat, looked tired with his hands on hips as he caught his breath during fourth-quarter breaks. He played 47 minutes.

Antetokounmpo finished 13 of 23 from the field but was 2 of 6 in the fourth.

The Raptors could finally breathe easy after DeRozan went 2 of 2 from the foul line with 3.1 seconds to play for a three-point lead. Tony Snell's inbounds pass on the ensuing possession was intercepted by DeRozan (see full recap).

Spurs advance: San Antonio beats Grizzlies 103-96 in Game 6
NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points, helping the San Antonio Spurs advance to the Western Conference semifinals by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 103-96 Thursday night to take the series 4-2.

The Spurs now have beaten Memphis four of the five playoff series between these teams, and this was San Antonio's second straight win over the Grizzlies in the first round.

Tony Parker added 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting, while LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Patty Mills had 10 points off the bench for the Spurs. San Antonio outrebounded Memphis 46-28, with 16 of those offensive boards. That led to 17 second-chance points.

Their semifinal with Houston will start Monday night in San Antonio.

Mike Conley scored 26 points, leading the five Memphis starters in double digits. Marc Gasol added 18, Zach Randolph 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Vince Carter had 12 points (see full recap).

Sixers 2016-17 player evaluation: Ben Simmons

Sixers 2016-17 player evaluation: Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons

Position: Point guard? Power forward? TBD

Status for 2017-18: Guaranteed — $6,168,840

Simmons in 2016-17
Ben Simmons missed the entire 2016-17 season after suffering a Jones fracture in his right foot on the final day of training camp.

He was ruled out officially in late February when a scan revealed his foot had not fully healed. Simmons was cleared to advance his training in mid-April.

This season was one of learning for Simmons. The Sixers implemented a multifaceted rehab program to improve his health, education and shot. This included studying game film with Brett Brown and working closely with shooting coach John Townsend.

Simmons also joined the Sixers to experience life on the road. During these trips, he spent time with point guard Jerryd Bayless, who is serving as a veteran go-to as Simmons learns the NBA backcourt.

Signature game
Since Simmons did not appear in a game, let's modify here. Simmons was no stranger to showing off his skills during pregame warmups, including this dunk in Indiana.

Looking ahead to 2017-18
Simmons' first step to prepare for next season is five-on-five work. The Sixers have to determine if that will include his participating in the summer league. This seems unlikely given Simmons' lack of full-contact basketball activity with his own team and the fact he was limited last summer when healthy.

The second step is learning the point guard position. The Sixers plan to start Simmons at the one next season, a role in which they believe Simmons can thrive because of his athleticism and court vision.

The Sixers will work with Simmons to continue improving his shot, specifically hitting free throws and finishing at the basket with both hands.

On Simmons
"I think that the question about whether or not Ben Simmons is a point guard or not, that will play itself out over time. But I don't think there's going to be a quick answer there. I know there's a commitment by the staff to make that happen."

Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo

"What I left Stockton (training camp) being so excited about was that he is an elite, potentially, defensive player. So was his father that I coached for five years. It's in his bloodline." 

Sixers head coach Brett Brown