For the first time in three seasons, Ben Simmons will miss consecutive regular-season games.
Simmons will be out for the Sixers' game Sunday night vs. the Hornets (6 p.m./NBCSP). A team spokesperson told NBC Sports Philadelphia's Paul Hudrick that Simmons continues to progress after suffering a Grade 1 AC joint sprain in his right shoulder during the Sixers' loss to the Jazz on Wednesday, and that he'll be re-evaluated Monday.
Shake Milton, who didn't play on the team's West Coast road trip because of a bone bruise and mild left knee sprain suffered Oct. 28 in Atlanta, is out for Sunday's game, as well. A team spokesperson told NBC Sports Philadelphia that, like Simmons, Milton will be re-evaluated Monday and is progressing well.
The Sixers sit at 5-3 after blowing a 21-point fourth-quarter lead to the Nuggets Friday night without Simmons.
However, the point guard play in Simmons' absence was a bright spot. Raul Neto started and had 13 points (5 for 6 shooting) and six assists in 30 minutes, while Trey Burke saw his first regular-season action as a Sixer and posted five points and three assists in 17 minutes. The Sixers' bench as a whole was strong in Denver, outscoring the Nuggets' by a 37-12 margin.
Despite missing the Nuggets game, Simmons still leads the NBA in steals with 21. Simmons started the season well offensively, posting 24 points and nine assists to help the Sixers beat the Celtics, but has declined since then. He's averaging 13.1 points on 49.4 percent shooting, 6.9 assists and 5.4 rebounds.
Though he'd said at media day, "If it's open, I'll take it" when asked about the prospect of attempting three-point shots this season, Simmons has yet to attempt a regular-season three in 2019-20. In fact, he's taken only one shot from outside the painted area, and his longest make is from seven feet away.
Still, for the second straight game, the Sixers will be without all the qualities that made Simmons an All-Star in his second NBA season.
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