Ben Simmons missed his third game of the season for the 76ers on Thursday night. He was sidelined with left calf tightness for the home game against Portland.

The Sixers lost the previous two games that Simmons was sidelined, both with left knee soreness. He missed a 115-103 home loss to Denver on Jan. 9 and a 112-94 loss at Atlanta on Jan. 11.

Coach Doc Rivers was asked before Thursday’s game if this will be a long-term injury.

“I don’t know, I don’t think it’s long term,” Rivers said. “I think he will be fine. It started hurting him last night, honestly.” The coach was referring to the Sixers’ 118-111 win at Charlotte on Wednesday.

“After the game, he started complaining about it, so he did a our little walk-through today with us. So it is a late scratch.”

Simmons is averaging 13.4 points, 8,1 rebounds, and 8.0 assists.

Sixers forward Mike Scott (right knee swelling) missed his 10th consecutive games. Also out for the Sixers was Terrance Ferguson (health and safety protocols).

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Injury-depleted Blazers

Simmons wasn’t the only all-star from last season who didn’t play Thursday.

Portland guard Damian Lillard (29.1 ppg.) missed his first game of the season due to an abdominal strain.

“He’s day-to-day and we will see how he feels in New York,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said before the game.

Stotts was referring to Saturday’s game at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.

It was the latest injury for a Portland team that has been hit hard on that front.

Five other players were out for the game – Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture), Derrick Jones (left foot sprain), Nassir Little (left knee sprain), CJ McCollum (left mid-foot fracture), and Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture).

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