Covington, hot-shooting 76ers rout Hornets 128-114
Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker (15) guards Philadelphia 76ers' Robert Covington (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
By Steve Reed, Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Robert Covington scored 22 points, rookie sensation Ben Simmons flirted with a triple-double and the Philadelphia 76ers handed the Charlotte Hornets their fourth straight loss, 128-114 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).
Simmons had 16 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds as the 76ers won for the third time in the last four games.
Dario Saric scored 19 points, Joel Embiid added 18 and JJ Redick chipped in with 14 as seven 76ers finished in double digits in what might have been the final blow to the Hornets' playoff hopes.
While the 76ers shot 57.5 percent from field — including 16-of-33 from three-point range — Charlotte's All-Star point guard Kemba Walker couldn't find the bottom of the net. Walker was limited to a season-low five points on 1-of-9 shooting.
Dwight Howard had a season-high 30 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Nic Batum had 12 points and 10 assists for Charlotte, which fell seven games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 17 games remaining.
Embiid dominated Howard in Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) 110-99 win in Philadelphia with 23 points and 15 rebounds to Howard's six points and six rebounds.
Howard was much better this time around, but he didn't get much help from this teammates. Charlotte's other starters were a combined 9-of-26 from the field.
It didn't help the Hornets that top defender Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was ejected in the second quarter after picking up a second technical foul for disputing a non-call on a drive to the basket.
76ers: Outrebounded the Hornets 44-33. ... Had 35 assists to Charlotte's 26.
Hornets: Howard picked up his 14th technical foul of the season for arguing a call. ... The crowd erupted with a chorus of "Luuuuuuke" after Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was shown on the big screen. ... Howard made a three-pointer to beat the buzzer at halftime, then blew a kiss to the crowd.
76ers: Visit Miami on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time).
Hornets: Host Nets on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time).