SHENZHEN, China – Ben Simmons was determined to pull a JJ Redick.
Simmons on Monday morning played one day after missing practice because of gastroenteritis. The 76ers point guard came up short of shooting perfectly from the field or being the game's leading scorer, as Redick had done in his return Friday morning.
Simmons also wasn't the game's leading scorer in the Sixers' 115-112 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in an NBA China preseason game here at the Shenzhen Universaide Centre. Teammate Joel Embiid scored a game-high 29 points. Simmons, meanwhile, fell one rebound shy of producing a double-double in the Sixers' fourth and final preseason game.
He had 10 points, nine rebounds, six assists and a team-high two blocks in 31 minutes, 4 seconds. Simmons sat out the fourth quarter. He had one negative: a game-high seven turnovers.
"I had a poor game today," Simmons said.
The 2017-18 rookie of the year wasn't impressed with his near double-double and six assists.
"I always do things, whether it's not scoring then it's rebounding and dropping the ball off to people," he said. "I'm always efficient when it comes to playing. That's the way I play."
Simmons recorded 12 triple-doubles last season, the second most by a rookie in NBA history. So it's easy to see why the Australian takes no solace in a near double-double when he also was closing in on 10 turnovers.
"No!" he said. "I'm definitely not pleased with it. That's the worst game I played all preseason."
Embiid, though, was the best player on the floor. The All-Star center had seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and four turnovers to go with his game-high points in 28:06. Embiid was strong down on the block. He dominated defenders while getting deep position. However, Embiid also took six three-pointers and missed all of them.
Even thought it was a preseason game, his energy was far from exhibition mode.
"Every time I step on the court, I want to win," Embiid said. "My teammates also feel the same. So you know, I want to win."
He admitted to being disappointed with the loss.
"You got to want to get better and get the win," he said.
Markelle Fultz finished with six points on 3-for-7 shooting, three rebounds and two assists in 19:18. He did not attempt a three-pointer.
Fultz, who is overcoming the "yips," was heckled by Mavs owner Mark Cuban during the game. Cuban yelled for him to shoot the ball. The 2017 first overall pick fouled out on an offensive foul with 8:52 remaining.
Robert Covington added 18 points, and Redick scored 10 in a reserve role. He made just 2 of 6 three-pointers one game after making seven while shooting 10-for-10 to score a game-high 28 points against the Mavs in Shanghai. The teams split the NBA China Games. The Sixers had won, 120-114, at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Mike Muscala started at power forward in place of Dario Saric, who has lower-back soreness and rested. Saric is listed as day to day. Saric did participate in his pregame workout.
"It wasn't worth pursuing, trying to force him on a floor," coach Brett Brown said about playing him.
The Sixers finished the preseason 3-1, and the Mavs improved to 2-1.
The Sixers will open the regular season Oct. 16 against the Celtics at TD Garden in Boston.