Earlier than Thursday’s sport, coach Jacque Vaughn mentioned he was not going to ask Ben Simmons to attain any extra with Kevin Durant sidelined.
Simmons then did nearly every part besides rating within the Nets’ 109-98 loss to the Celtics at Barclays Middle.
In 26 minutes, Simmons dished out a season-high 13 assists and introduced down 9 rebounds with two steals and one block, however he dedicated 5 fouls, turned the ball over twice within the second half and went 0-for-3 from the sector.
“Simply pushing the ball, discovering my guys, most likely discovered them an excessive amount of,” Simmons mentioned. “Most likely must get my very own and get myself going, which I didn’t.”
It marked Simmons’ second scoreless outing of the season, however the first got here in a Nov. 28 sport when he performed 11 minutes in opposition to the Magic earlier than leaving with an damage.
On Thursday, Simmons admitted he wanted to be extra aggressive because the Nets performed their first sport with out Durant (MCL sprain), who’s averaging 29.7 factors per sport.
Ben Simmons, who had 13 assists, makes a cross in the course of the Nets’ 109-98 loss to the Celtics.Corey Sipkin
“I feel I’m giving the ball up manner too many instances after I know who I’m, I do know I must get to the rim and get buckets,” Simmons mentioned. “And that’s additionally going to assist my teammates and get them going.”
Simmons entered the night time averaging solely 7.7 factors on six field-goal makes an attempt per sport this season. He made his impression felt in pushing the ball in transition, the place a handful of his assists got here, and defending Jayson Tatum, who was restricted to twenty factors on 7-for-22 capturing.
However he was lacking altogether within the scoring column.
“Love the contributions with the assists piece of it,” Vaughn mentioned. “Proceed to problem him, proceed to problem the group to hit first.”
Vaughn tabbed Joe Harris to start out in Durant’s place and the wing delivered a season-high 18 factors on 7-for-11 capturing, together with 10 factors within the first quarter alone.
Vaughn indicated Harris was the selection to hitch the beginning lineup as a result of the Nets need to shoot extra 3-pointers in Durant’s absence. Harris shot 4-for-7 from deep.
T.J. Warren was the primary man off the bench, subbing in for Harris, and scored 20 factors.
Royce O’Neale took a shot to the again combating off a display from Marcus Sensible within the fourth quarter, however Vaughn mentioned he was OK.
The Nets opened a roster spot on Thursday by requesting launch waivers on rookie two-way level guard Alondes Williams.
Vaughn mentioned he anticipated the crew to stay versatile with the open roster spot for now as an alternative of instantly filling it.
Nic Claxton got here into the day listed as questionable for the sport due to left shoulder impingement, however he remained within the beginning lineup and recorded 9 factors, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks. … The NBA launched its second replace on All-Star fan voting Thursday, with Durant nonetheless main the Jap Convention frontcourt and Kyrie Irving nonetheless main the guards.