Sixers 119-Hornets 102: Ben Simmons runs the show, Marco Belinelli comes up big, and other quick thoughts from the Sixers 10th straight win

76ers Hornets Basketball
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, left, of Australia, drives into Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, April 1, 2018. Philadelphia won 119-102.

Ben Simmons continues to wow

Already without Joel Embiid, the Sixers were also missing Dario Saric on Sunday in Charlotte. Ben Simmons, coming off a triple-double performance in Atlanta, stepped up again and nearly notched another one, finishing with 20 points, 15 assists, eight rebounds, and just one turnover. Line drive passes, reverse dunks, superb vision, the leading rookie of the year candidate just keeps getting better. With the playoffs quickly approaching and with the Sixers’ leading scorer missing, Simmons is heating up even more than he already was at the right time.

Marco Belinelli a hero off the bench

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In rhythm, off balance, over out-streched arms, Marco Belinelli was hitting from everywhere and finished with a game-high 22 points, his highest scoring output as a member of the Sixers. It was not only a high scoring night for Belinelli but it was an incredibly efficient night for the Italian shooting 3-of-4 from three and 9-of-10 from the floor overall. Benefitting from Simmons’s passing Belinelli’s ability to move without the ball is a huge plus for the Sixers and when another big scorer was needed on Sunday he was right there.

Sixers defense stays solid

The Sixers defense was a large part of their 10th consecutive win and they were able to get the W again without their 7-foot-2 defensive anchor. The team logged a season high 15 steals, picked up 44 rebounds, scored 18 fast-break points, while holding the Hornets to just 33 made field goals and 30 percent from three. And, at the center of a lot of the Sixers’ defense was Robert Covington who picked off a season-high seven steals to go with his 17 points and 11 rebounds. Despite going 1-of-9 from beyond the arc Covington remained engaged on the defensive end, a sign of maturity.