Without Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons was powerless to prevent the Philadelphia 76ers from joining the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers among the beaten teams in Sunday’s NBA action.
Grayson Allen had 11 of his 15 points during a game-defining third quarter as the Memphis Grizzlies powered past Philadelphia 116-100.
Memphis led by 10 points at halftime and extended the margin to 26 heading into the final 12 minutes of play.
Philadelphia fans booed their own team during the game and they really let them hear it at the end of the third quarter, when an arena at about 25 per cent capacity sounded more like a sold-out crowd raining down boos.
Coach Doc Rivers said besides missing Embiid, Philadelphia were worn down from their recent six-game, 12-day road trip.
“We’re human,” Rivers said.
“We played a lot of games during this stretch. We didn’t stand a chance and not a lot we could do about it.”
Simmons had just seven points, seven rebounds and four assists in a flat home performance.
Tobias Harris scored 21 points for the 76ers, who have played 11 of their past 12 games without Embiid as he recovered from a bone bruise on his left knee.
Philadelphia, who are 20-5 at home this season, remain tied with Brooklyn, who lost 115-107 to the Chicago Bulls, atop of the Eastern Conference standings.
Dillon Brooks scored 17 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who began play ninth in the Western Conference.
Memphis had seven players in double-figures and totalled 30 assists.
“It’s a beautiful stat sheet, for sure,” coach Taylor Jenkins said.
Chicago snapped a six-game losing streak by defeating the Nets, who again played without James Harden and Kevin Durant.
The Clippers won the battle of LA to end a two-game skid, with Marcus Morris netting a game-high 22 points in a 104-86 romps against the Lakers.
Minus LeBron James and Anthony Davis the Lakers are clinging on to the fourth seed in the west.
Meanwhile, New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball answered his shooting critics with a career-high eight 3-pointers among his 27 points in a 122-115 win over the struggling Houston Rockets.