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Butler, Simmons spark 76ers past Grizzlies 103-95

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons have started wearing white headbands - yes, they are a headband of brothers - as a symbol of their commitment to defense. But the 76ers stars wanted to make more than a fashion statement - Butler and Simmons made a high-stakes pledge to D with a series of bets. Most steals. Most blocks.

Simmons won the hand with two steals to Butler's one block.

''They gave (Joel Embiid) one of my blocks,'' Butler said. ''Technically, it's 2-2. So we'll push.''

The box score tally may be in dispute but it's incontestable Butler has made the Sixers a true championship contender.

Butler continued his run as Philadelphia's stretch-run shooter, scoring 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to lead the 76ers to a 103-95 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night.

Butler hit winning shots against Charlotte and Brooklyn in eight days to quickly earn a reputation as Philly's newest go-to guard in the fourth. Against a Memphis team trying to steal one on the road, Butler hit a few more big buckets in the waning moments.

Butler didn't need the final-minute theatrics to win this one. But he proved his worth and stunted Memphis' rally.

Simmons, who had 19 points and 12 rebounds on a sprained left ankle, ran up from behind on MarShon Brooks and poked the ball free for a steal. That led to a pair of free throws for Butler that made it 95-89. Butler buried a turnaround jumper for a 97-89 lead that sealed the win.

''That's what the team needs me to do late, close out a couple of games,'' Butler said. ''It didn't come down to the buzzer-beater thing. I think all in all in the fourth quarter, I scored a few points.''

Enough to take down Memphis.

JJ Redick continued his late-career resurgence with 24 points for the Sixers and Embiid had 15 points and 14 rebounds.

They all admire the way Butler has acclimated himself since his arrival last month in a trade with Minnesota. The Sixers are 13-1 at home and 8-2 since the Butler deal.

''Jimmy's an easy guy to have as a teammate,'' Redick said. ''He plays hard, he wants to win and he works his (rear) off.''

Redick plugged his podcast, which drops later this week, for more of his thoughts on playing with Butler.

Butler has tried to take Simmons under his wing and focus more on a defensive toughness. But they've been pretty good on offense, too Butler fed Simmons for a cutting layup in the first quarter and Simmons fed Butler on an alley-oop for an early spark.

''he knows how to play the game the right way and he's bought into our system,'' Simmons said. ''It's been pretty quick to get better with him.''

With the rest of the NBA on a run-and-shoot style of soaring scores, the Grizzlies are grinding out wins in a methodical manner. They kept within striking distance of the Sixers and pulled to 84-81 in the fourth and Marc Gasol hit a 3 to make it 92-84 before Butler pushed them back.

Mike Conley scored 21 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 17 for the Grizzlies.

''We're not in panic mode at all,'' Conley said. ''We've built ourselves a good little cushion to have a little spell like this. Hopefully, we'll just get back home, get back to work, get a few days in and get back together.''

The Sixers had thumped New York by 16 and Washington by 25 as they rolled to the second-most wins in the NBA. Embiid and Simmons had formed one of the more potent 1-2 offensive punches in the NBA. Throw in Butler's two-way ability, and the Sixers have a newfound toughness.

''Whenever we're leading the charge on the defensive end, everybody's going to follow,'' Butler said.

TIP-INS

Grizzlies: Had no offensive rebounds out of 17 total in the first half. ... ''They run their stuff well and I thought we limited them more, especially in the second half and made things more difficult for them,'' coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.

76ers: Played without starting F Wilson Chandler (thigh). Chandler was not expected to miss another game. Mike Muscala got the start and scored eight points. ... Director M. Night Shyamalan was at the game.

SIMMONS HURT

Simmons said he was fine after leaving briefly in the first half with an injured ankle. He shot 8 of 10 from the floor.

UP NEXT

Grizzlies: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

76ers: At Toronto on Wednesday night.

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Key Players
M. Gasol
33 C
J. Embiid
21 C
34.1 Min. Per Game 34.1
27.5 Pts. Per Game 27.5
3.5 Ast. Per Game 3.5
13.4 Reb. Per Game 13.4
47.1 Field Goal % 46.8
47.9 Three Point % 47.0
72.6 Free Throw % 79.7
  Defensive rebound by Joel Embiid 0:08
  Mike Conley missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:11
+ 1 Jimmy Butler made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:15
+ 1 Jimmy Butler made 1st of 2 free throws 0:15
  Personal foul on Shelvin Mack 0:15
  Out of bounds turnover on Marc Gasol 0:18
+ 1 JJ Redick made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:24
+ 1 JJ Redick made 1st of 2 free throws 0:24
  Personal foul on JaMychal Green 0:24
+ 2 Mike Conley made driving layup 0:31
+ 2 JJ Redick made layup, assist by Ben Simmons 0:37
Team Stats
Points 95 103
Field Goals 33-79 (41.8%) 36-74 (48.6%)
3-Pointers 11-28 (39.3%) 8-22 (36.4%)
Free Throws 18-23 (78.3%) 23-30 (76.7%)
Total Rebounds 40 56
Offensive 3 3
Defensive 32 41
Team 5 12
Assists 19 22
Steals 7 5
Blocks 7 2
Turnovers 14 16
Fouls 24 20
Technicals 2 0
21 PTS, 2 REB, 5 AST
19 PTS, 12 REB, 6 AST
1234T
away team logo Grizzlies 13-9 2519242795
home team logo 76ers 17-8 26282425103
Team Stats
away team logo Grizzlies 13-9 100.9 PPG 40 RPG 23.3 APG
home team logo 76ers 17-8 115.4 PPG 47.5 RPG 27.2 APG
Key Players
M. Conley PG 19.9 PPG 3.3 RPG 6.2 APG 41.8 FG%
J. Redick SG 18.3 PPG 2.2 RPG 2.8 APG 44.3 FG%
Top Scorers
M. Conley PG 21 PTS 2 REB 5 AST
J. Redick SG 24 PTS 3 REB 0 AST
41.8 FG% 48.6
39.3 3PT FG% 36.4
78.3 FT% 76.7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
M. Conley 21 2 5 6/17 3/6 6/7 1 33 1 1 1 0 2 -7 34
J. Jackson Jr. 17 3 0 5/10 1/4 6/6 5 23 1 3 2 1 2 -6 22
M. Gasol 12 4 3 4/14 2/5 2/3 4 38 1 2 4 0 4 -12 21
G. Temple 12 4 1 4/9 3/6 1/2 1 31 0 0 0 0 4 -9 18
K. Anderson 5 3 5 2/2 0/0 1/1 3 27 0 1 1 0 3 -6 18
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
M. Conley 21 2 5 6/17 3/6 6/7 1 33 1 1 1 0 2 -7 34
J. Jackson Jr. 17 3 0 5/10 1/4 6/6 5 23 1 3 2 1 2 -6 22
M. Gasol 12 4 3 4/14 2/5 2/3 4 38 1 2 4 0 4 -12 21
G. Temple 12 4 1 4/9 3/6 1/2 1 31 0 0 0 0 4 -9 18
K. Anderson 5 3 5 2/2 0/0 1/1 3 27 0 1 1 0 3 -6 18
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Green 14 7 0 6/10 2/4 0/2 4 25 4 0 3 2 5 +6 22
M. Brooks 12 2 0 5/10 0/0 2/2 1 20 0 0 2 0 2 +4 12
S. Mack 2 1 4 1/5 0/2 0/0 2 20 0 0 0 0 1 -13 11
O. Casspi 0 8 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 14 0 0 1 0 8 +2 7
I. Rabb 0 1 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 3 4 0 0 0 0 1 +1 3
C. Parsons - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Stephens - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Y. Watanabe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Carter - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Brooks - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Selden Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 95 35 19 33/79 11/28 18/23 24 235 7 7 14 3 32 -40 168
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Redick 24 3 0 9/17 3/6 3/3 5 30 0 0 1 0 3 +9 26
J. Butler 21 3 2 7/17 0/4 7/8 3 32 0 1 3 0 3 +7 26
B. Simmons 19 12 6 8/10 0/0 3/8 4 37 2 0 3 2 10 +5 42
J. Embiid 15 14 3 4/13 0/2 7/8 3 37 1 1 4 0 14 +13 33
M. Muscala 8 7 5 2/4 2/3 2/2 0 27 0 0 0 1 6 -5 25
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Redick 24 3 0 9/17 3/6 3/3 5 30 0 0 1 0 3 +9 26
J. Butler 21 3 2 7/17 0/4 7/8 3 32 0 1 3 0 3 +7 26
B. Simmons 19 12 6 8/10 0/0 3/8 4 37 2 0 3 2 10 +5 42
J. Embiid 15 14 3 4/13 0/2 7/8 3 37 1 1 4 0 14 +13 33
M. Muscala 8 7 5 2/4 2/3 2/2 0 27 0 0 0 1 6 -5 25
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. McConnell 6 3 3 3/4 0/0 0/0 2 31 0 0 1 0 3 +16 14
F. Korkmaz 6 1 2 2/4 2/3 0/0 0 15 2 0 0 0 1 +1 13
L. Shamet 4 0 0 1/4 1/4 1/1 1 17 0 0 3 0 0 -1 1
A. Johnson 0 1 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 2 10 0 0 1 0 1 -5 2
W. Chandler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Jackson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bolden - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Milton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Fultz - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Patton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 103 44 22 36/74 8/22 23/30 20 236 5 2 16 3 41 +40 182