Ben Simmons got an earful from the Philly crowd.
With the same fans Simmons put on blast for booing in the playoff opener going wild in Game 2, Simmons cupped a hand to his right ear to spur the cheers even louder.
Simmons had 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds and the 76ers had an answer for the Nets in a 145-123 win to even their Eastern Conference playoff series Monday night.
“I was just trying to be me,” Simmons said.
The Nets collapsed in the second half. The Sixers scored 51 points in the third quarter on 18-for-25 shooting and 11-for-11 from the foul line.
Simmons had a disappointing Game 1, but in Game 2, he flashed the All-Star form that helped lead the Sixers to 51 wins. He used his size and speed to attack the lane and scored 16 points in the first half — and then put away the game in the third period.
The Sixers busted open the game with a 14-0 run to start the second half and then stretched the lead to 20 on a Simmons steal and fastbreak basket. With a packed house standing, Simmons got a massive ovation when he cupped his hand to his ear.
“I was thinking about the boos from the last game,” Simmons said, smiling. “I have a lot of love for this city.”
Joe Embiid again shook off tendinitis in his left knee and delivered after a sluggish Game 1. He scored 13 in the third as the Sixers raced to a 29-point lead and finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/76ers-score-playoff-record-51-points-in-3rd-13770321.php.