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No Ben Simmons, no worries for winning Philadelphia 76ers

Doc Rivers says those left standing in his depleted Philadelphia 76ers NBA outfit have built a “cocoon” to protect them from the Ben Simmons-fuelled “turmoil” after they earned a sixth-straight win.

Australian Olympian Matisse Thybulle was the latest to join the mounting list of unavailable players to face the Chicago Bulls, following teammate Isaiah Joe into health and safety protocols after Tobias Harris’s positive COVID-19 case.

They were also without Danny Green (hamstring) and Simmons (personal reasons), who remains in a stand-off with the club after a messy off-season spent unsuccessfully seeking a trade.

Like against the Detroit Pistons two days earlier, coach Doc Rivers called on just eight players on the road in Chicago.

But again they lifted, prevailing 114-105 behind Joel Embiid (30 points, 15 rebounds) and a career night for Furkan Korkmaz (25 points, seven three-pointers).

It was their second win over the Bulls (6-3) in four days and pushed them to the top of the Eastern Conference standings with an 8-2 record.

“We’ve had so much turmoil around us … inside it’s created a cocoon effect,” Rivers said.

“It’s nice to have … these are the type of wins that make a team grow.

“You love when they get together like this … that was just such a team win.”

Zach LaVine had 32 points and DeMar DeRozan added 25 for Chicago.

The Bulls led 97-96 when Embiid answered with a triple a minute later and the Sixers never trailed again.

Elsewhere, Joe Ingles was quiet in the Utah Jazz’s 118-115 loss to the Miami Heat, the Boomers veteran making one-of-four to finish with three points and five assists.

Tyler Herro scored 29 points, Kyle Lowry had his 19th triple-double as Miami led by 19 points with five minutes remaining.

But they had to rely on Donovan Mitchell (37 points, seven assists) missing a three-pointer in the closing seconds.

Lowry finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists as the Heat moved to 7-2 and the Jazz dropped to the same record.

Jimmy Butler scored 27 points for the Heat, making two free throws with 10.4 seconds remaining after Utah had cut it to 116-115.

Luka Doncic (33 points, nine rebounds, five assists) sunk a long fadeaway three-pointer on the buzzer as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Boston Celtics 107-104, while Nikola Jokic (28 points, 14 rebounds) made the game-saving block on the final play in the Denver Nuggets’ 95-94 win over the Houston Rockets.

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