Simmons had three steals in the final 13.9 seconds to lead Philadelphia to a 119-116 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.
“I love being able to get steals and turn guys over,” said Simmons, who finished with 15 points, 13 assists, six rebounds and four steals. “I take pride in it and it gives us energy.”
The Pacers led 114-113 with a chance to go up more when Simmons intercepted T.J. Warren‘s pass with 13.9 seconds remaining, then assisted Tobias Harris for a breakway dunk that gave Philadelphia the lead with 9.9 seconds remaining.
“I was going to steal it,” Simmons said. “If everybody on the backside does their job, it’s easier to make a play.”
After a timeout, Simmons then stole Jeremy Lamb‘s inbounds pass with 7.9 seconds remaining. That led to two free throws by Harris that gave the 76ers a 117-114 advantage with 5.1 ticks left. Malcolm Brogdon then made a pair of free throws after being fouled intentionally before Joel Embiid followed with his own two foul shots for a 119-116 Philadelphia lead with 2.8 seconds to play.
Simmons clinched it for the 76ers when he stole Lamb’s three-quarter court inbounds pass.
“Those turnovers late were costly,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “That was poor execution on our part.”
Embiid had 32 points and 11 rebounds and was 15 for 15 from the free throw line. In three games since going scoreless for the first time in his career at Toronto on Nov. 25, the star center is averaging 30.7 points and 14.7 rebounds while making 40 of 44 foul shots.