76ers coach Doc Rivers defends Ben Simmons after Game 4 loss to Wizards



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76ers coach Doc Rivers defends Ben Simmons after Game 4 loss to Wizards

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers defended his decision to keep Ben Simmons on the floor late in the game. The Washington Wizards, who entered the game down 3-0 series, used hack-a-Simmons tactic late in the game. The Wizards intentionally fouled Simmons four times -- three times in the last two minutes -- as the Sixers guard went 1-of-2 at the line each time he was fouled.

"You want me to take Ben Simmons off the floor? He's pretty good. I'll pass on that suggestion," Rivers said, per ESPN. "He could have [made more free throws] but he didn't. But he still does other things.

I'll take that. Listen, keep the narrative going, we're just going to keep playing." Simmons had nothing against the tactic the Wizards used in Game 4. "I'm not upset, it's basketball," said Simmons, who was 5 of 10 from the line in the game and scored 13 points overall.

"I'm not worried about people fouling me."

Rivers further backed Simmons

"I didn't think he was scared of the moment, he just didn't make them," Rivers said. "We're going to keep him on the floor.

Unless you guys want us to bench him the whole game, if anybody wants us to do that let me know and I'll know you don't know basketball." Elsewhere, the Utah Jazz beat the Memphis Grizzlies 120-113 to take a 3-1 lead in the series.

Last season, the Jazz were 3-1 up against the Denver Nuggets in the first round but ended up losing the series. "We obviously remember that feeling that we had last season," Jazz guard Mike Conley said. "And it's not something we want to experience again.

I think this team is different. I think the circumstances are a little bit different. Bojan's back, and I think another year for me to be kind of comfortable in the situation I'm in. "I think we got a different team, different mindset, and hopefully be able to get our minds focused on business and not let this one slip away like we did last year."

Conley underlined that he and his teammates don't want to experience the same feeling again.. "We obviously remember that feeling that we had last season," Conley said. "And it's not something we want to experience again.

I think this team is different. I think the circumstances are a little bit different. Bojan's back, and I think another year for me to be kind of comfortable in the situation I'm in. "I think we got a different team, different mindset, and hopefully be able to get our minds focused on business and not let this one slip away like we did last year."