Unwell Simmons to miss Sixers' NBA clash

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Ben Simmons will miss Philadelphia's clash with Houston on Wednesday because of illness, with coach Doc Rivers breathing a sigh of relief it's not COVID-related.

Simmons' unavailability is a major blow for Rivers and the Sixers as the Australian has been in scintillating form this season.

In the 76ers' last match against the Utah Jazz, Simmons produced a career-high 42 points with nine rebounds and 12 assists.

But Rivers is just grateful Simmon's illness is not COVID-related.

"Just a stomach flu I think it is. Yeah. Do not say that word. It's a dirty word. It's like concussion," said Rivers, reinforcing Simmons' absence was not COVID-19 related.

Simmons is averaging 15.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists this season while shooting 56.2 per cent overall.

He's appeared in 25 games, all starts, and Wednesday will be his fourth missed game of the season.

His absence means the 76ers will have just one-half of their star tandem on the floor for the second game in a row.

Centre Joel Embiid will return to the lineup after missing Monday's loss to the Jazz with back pain.