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Simmons triple-double leads 76ers past Bulls 127-108

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Markelle Fultz heard 20,000 Philadelphia 76ers fans exhort him to shoot each time he touched the ball, a roaring confidence boost for a No. 1 pick closer to a bust than brilliance.

Fultz had the look he wanted in the second quarter. He dribbled to the foul line without a defender in his path, pulled up and uncorked a jumper. The ball rattled around the rim before it fluttered through the net.

Sixers fans rose to their feet, erupted in cheers and chanted ''Fultz! Fultz! Fultz!''

Yes, a simple jumpshot from the top pick of the 2017 draft in the second game of the season was enough to get a rise out of the fans - and a sigh of relief from Fultz.

''It makes me feel better for the whole crowd to feel as good as I want to,'' Fultz said.

The curious case of Fultz's missing jumper continued against the Bulls when one of the more scrutinized players in the NBA managed to steal the spotlight from his more accomplished teammates with routine - yet highlight-reel worthy - baskets.

Until he gets his shot right, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will continue to lead the Sixers.

Simmons had a triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists and Embiid had 30 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Chicago Bulls 127-108 on Thursday night.

Fultz scored 12 points on 5 of 15 shooting, the most shots taken by a Sixer.

''He shot it to mean it,'' coach Brett Brown said. ''He didn't look afraid of anything. He missed the shots but they looked good.''

Fultz is coming off a miserable rookie season that was shortened because of a right shoulder injury, a broken shot and busted confidence. Even his personal shooting coach said Fultz suffered from the ''yips,'' an assertion shot down on media day by the second-year guard. Fultz simply blamed his lost season on the injury. Brown tried to give Fultz a confidence boost by putting him in the starting lineup - yet has benched him for the start of the second half.

Fultz was 1 of 6 in 15 minutes in the first half and didn't play again until late in the third and the Sixers leading by 88-68.

''The challenge is to grow him and help us win the game,'' Brown said. ''There's no book that tells you how to do that, so you're going to have to figure some stuff out. There will be some pain along the way and some positives.''

With or without Fultz, the 76ers had plenty of positives after an opening-night disaster in Boston.

Simmons reached a triple-double with 2:34 left in the third, the 13th of his career and the first Sixer to ever get one in the home opener. Sixers fans chanted ''Trust the Process!'' when Embiid ended the third with free throws.

Fultz proved a long-range ace again in the fourth - this time with a 3! He drained his first career 3-pointer for a 108-88 lead and the Philly fans that are firmly perched in his corner went wild and again chanted his name.

The Sixers know that if they want to become legitimate Eastern Conference contenders, Fultz will have to become the star they envisioned when they drafted him.

''I'm never afraid,'' Fultz said. ''I worked hard this summer. Tonight, I didn't make a lot of them, but I'm going to keep shooting them. If I see an open shot, I'm going to go shoot it.''

He didn't even mind when Chicago's defense sagged off him, daring him to take shots. The Bulls, not expected to win much in the East, scored a combined 35 points in the second and third quarters. Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 30 points in their season opener.

''When we started missing shots, we stopped guarding and rebounding,'' Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said.

TIP-INS

Bulls: G Kris Dunn missed the game for the birth of his son. ... Bobby Portis had 20 points and 11 rebounds.

76ers: Rapper Meek Mill sat courtside and rang the ceremonial Liberty Bell to start the game. ... Embiid thanked the fans for coming and told them to ''Trust the Process.''

1ST Q & NO D

Embiid scored 12 points in the first 5 minutes of the game and neither team missed many looks in the first quarter. The Sixers made 11 of their first 14 shots and the Bulls started 14 of 19. The 76ers shot a whopping 70 percent in the quarter and still trailed the Bulls 41-38.

UP NEXT

Bulls: Play home opener Saturday against Detroit.

76ers: Host Orlando on Saturday.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Amir Johnson 0:16
  Antonio Blakeney missed fade-away jump shot 0:19
  Defensive rebound by Jabari Parker 0:27
  Markelle Fultz missed jump shot 0:31
+ 1 Antonio Blakeney made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:49
+ 1 Antonio Blakeney made 1st of 2 free throws 0:49
  Shooting foul on Jonah Bolden 0:49
+ 2 Markelle Fultz made jump shot 1:03
+ 2 Wendell Carter Jr. made dunk 1:21
  Offensive rebound by Wendell Carter Jr. 1:20
  Antonio Blakeney missed driving layup 1:22
Team Stats
Points 108 127
Field Goals 44-101 (43.6%) 44-93 (47.3%)
3-Pointers 11-33 (33.3%) 12-36 (33.3%)
Free Throws 9-12 (75.0%) 27-30 (90.0%)
Total Rebounds 48 64
Offensive 5 11
Defensive 34 44
Team 9 9
Assists 28 30
Steals 4 10
Blocks 6 8
Turnovers 12 13
Fouls 23 17
Technicals 0 1
30 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
30 PTS, 12 REB, 3 AST
1234T
away team logo Bulls 0-1 41171832108
home team logo 76ers 1-1 38273725127
Team Stats
away team logo Bulls 0-1 PPG RPG APG
home team logo 76ers 1-1 108.7 PPG 48.5 RPG 24.4 APG
Key Players
Z. LaVine PG 23.7 PPG 4.7 RPG 4.5 APG 46.7 FG%
J. Embiid C 27.5 PPG 13.6 RPG 3.7 APG 48.4 FG%
Top Scorers
Z. LaVine PG 30 PTS 5 REB 3 AST
J. Embiid C 30 PTS 12 REB 3 AST
43.6 FG% 47.3
33.3 3PT FG% 33.3
75.0 FT% 90.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
Z. LaVine 30 5 3 11/19 2/7 6/7 5 32 0 3 5 0 5 -10 39
B. Portis 20 11 2 8/15 3/6 1/2 4 33 1 1 0 2 9 -3 37
J. Holiday 10 4 1 4/12 2/9 0/0 2 27 0 0 0 0 4 -29 16
W. Carter Jr. 8 3 3 4/10 0/0 0/0 4 19 0 1 1 1 2 -18 17
C. Payne 0 1 5 0/4 0/1 0/0 1 21 1 0 1 0 1 -18 11
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
Z. LaVine 30 5 3 11/19 2/7 6/7 5 32 0 3 5 0 5 -10 39
B. Portis 20 11 2 8/15 3/6 1/2 4 33 1 1 0 2 9 -3 37
J. Holiday 10 4 1 4/12 2/9 0/0 2 27 0 0 0 0 4 -29 16
W. Carter Jr. 8 3 3 4/10 0/0 0/0 4 19 0 1 1 1 2 -18 17
C. Payne 0 1 5 0/4 0/1 0/0 1 21 1 0 1 0 1 -18 11
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Parker 15 5 1 7/16 1/4 0/0 3 25 1 0 2 1 4 -14 21
A. Blakeney 15 5 2 6/16 1/3 2/3 2 30 0 0 1 0 5 +6 23
R. Arcidiacono 8 4 8 3/4 2/3 0/0 0 28 0 0 0 0 4 -5 28
R. Lopez 2 1 3 1/4 0/0 0/0 2 17 1 1 2 1 0 -3 9
T. Ulis 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
C. Hutchison 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0
O. Asik - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Valentine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Dunn - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Felicio - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Alkins - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Markkanen - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 108 39 28 44/101 11/33 9/12 23 235 4 6 12 5 34 -95 201
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Embiid 30 12 3 9/14 0/3 12/14 4 32 1 4 2 1 11 +26 51
R. Covington 20 5 2 6/14 4/11 4/4 2 29 2 1 2 0 5 +24 30
D. Saric 13 10 3 4/12 2/6 3/3 2 28 1 0 3 4 6 +9 27
B. Simmons 13 13 11 5/8 0/0 3/3 0 33 1 2 3 1 12 +24 48
M. Fultz 12 4 5 5/15 1/3 1/2 2 32 2 0 1 3 1 +5 27
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Embiid 30 12 3 9/14 0/3 12/14 4 32 1 4 2 1 11 +26 51
R. Covington 20 5 2 6/14 4/11 4/4 2 29 2 1 2 0 5 +24 30
D. Saric 13 10 3 4/12 2/6 3/3 2 28 1 0 3 4 6 +9 27
B. Simmons 13 13 11 5/8 0/0 3/3 0 33 1 2 3 1 12 +24 48
M. Fultz 12 4 5 5/15 1/3 1/2 2 32 2 0 1 3 1 +5 27
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
A. Johnson 13 3 1 6/9 0/1 1/1 4 15 0 0 1 1 2 -7 17
L. Shamet 12 4 1 4/7 4/7 0/0 1 29 2 1 0 0 4 +1 21
J. Redick 10 3 1 4/11 1/3 1/1 1 24 1 0 1 1 2 +17 15
T. McConnell 4 0 3 1/1 0/0 2/2 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 -3 10
J. Bolden 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 +1 0
F. Korkmaz 0 1 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 7 0 0 0 0 1 -2 1
W. Chandler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bayless - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Muscala - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Jackson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Milton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 127 55 30 44/93 12/36 27/30 17 235 10 8 13 11 44 +95 247