Ben Simmons goes berserk in NBA Playoffs rampage

Ben Simmons appears to be the NBA’s favourite punching bag but not tonight after a stunning performance saw his Philadelphia 76ers go 2-0 in the series against the Washington Wizards.

The Aussie star hit an equal Sixers high of 22 points along with nine rebounds and eight assists in just 29 minutes as Philly dominated the Wizards out 120-95.

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Simmons stood up at the offensive end with the same tally as MVP hopeful teammate Joel Embiid.

For the Wizards, Bradley Beal played a lone hand with 33 points with his next best teammate tallying 11.

Simmons was criticised after game one despite hitting 15 rebounds and 15 assists, as he only tallied six points, reigniting the criticism that has haunted him his entire career about not being able to score.

He is an elite defender however and has been in the defensive player of the year conversation throughout the season.

Ben Simmons went nuts against the Wizards.Source:Getty Images

But he appeared frustrated by the criticism once again.

“I’m not trying to stick to anybody in Philly,” Simmons said after the game. “I thought it was pretty hard to get 15 assists and 15 rebounds in the NBA in the playoffs. I thought that was pretty impressive.

“And we won. What y’all want? You want to win?

“For me, I’m here to win and I’m doing what I need to do to help my team win, whatever it is. I’m not trying to prove anybody wrong or anything like that. I’m trying to do my job to win.”

As for Beal getting a game-high 33 points, Simmons said: “Nobody’s stopping (Bradley Beal) – he’s gifted. You just want to make it hard on him. He can get 50 on any given night.”

Embiid was glowing about Simmons’ performance at the offensive end of the floor as he took the load when needed.

“He needed to – with the way they were guarding me,” Embiid said. “He was just aggressive. He’s physical, athletic and he can make plays. He was great tonight and we need him to keep playing that way.”

Social media was all about Simmons’ brilliant performance.

Where were you when Ben Simmons became the best player in the NBA? #SixersOutsiders

Imagine thinking Ben Simmons is a bad player. #HereTheyCome

Remember when Ben Simmons was a liability? That was cute. #Sixers

Great Ben Simmons game tonight. Hope to see more of this!

Ben Simmons was outstanding tonight. When he's aggressive, he can impact games in so many ways at an elite level

‘Track his a** down’: Westbrook fumes over popcorn dump

But Wizards star Russell Westbrook has been showered with popcorn from a 76ers fan as he left the court with injury.

Westbrook was being helped off the court with a suspected sprained ankle.

The commentator said that the moment was “just plain stupidity”, as Westbrook tried to get to the fan sharing some choice words with the spectator.

Fan dumping his popcorn on Russell Westbrook, who's walking off after twisting his ankle. Fan should be banned for life. No room for this. pic.twitter.com/DXatcX8l9i

Lakers star LeBron James took to Twitter to savage the fan and demand the NBA take action.

“By the way WE AS THE PLAYERS wanna see who threw that popcorn on Russ while he was leaving the game tonight with an injury!!” James wrote.

“There’s cameras all over arenas so there’s no excuse! Cause if the shoe was on the other foot #ProtectOurPlayers.”

Westbrook had scored 10 points, 11 assists and six rebounds before the injury.

Sure, part of me wishes Russell Westbrook could've been allowed to go after the fan who dumped popcorn on him and send a message to all fans: THIS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. But obviously the law and league won't allow that. So at least the fan was removed and hopefully be banned.

Whoever dumped something on Westbrook should never be allowed at a game again.

Speaking after the incident, Westbrook was still heated, telling reporters: “I wouldn’t come up to me on the street and throw popcorn on my head, because you know what happens …

“In these arenas, you gotta start protecting the players. We’ll see what the NBA does.”

The Westbrook injury.Source:Getty Images

Wizards coach Scott Brooks defended his star player, saying he hopes the fan would not be allowed back in the building. The fan was led away by security.

“Philadelphia is better than that,” Brooks said.

The 76ers also released a statement.

“This was classless, unacceptable behaviour, and we’re not going to tolerate it at Wells Fargo Center,” said Philadelphia’s president of business operations Valerie Camillo.

“We’re proud to have the most passionate fans in the country … but this type of behaviour has no place in our arena.”

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