Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons pulled up and made the first 3-point shot of his career Tuesday night during a preseason thrashing of the Guangzhou Long-Lions.
Simmons attempted just six 3-pointers last season and just 11 in 2017-2018. He entered Tuesday having missed every 3-point shot he had taken.
Simmons splashed the trey at the end of the first half during the 144-85 thumping of the Long-Lions Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The 76ers guard dribbled above the 3-point arc as the final seconds ticked off the clock in the first half. He was given a ton of cushion by the defense as he scanned the floor.
Simmons bounced the ball two more times before pulling up from the right side and swished the long-distance attempt, giving the 76ers a 79-41 lead at the break. It was his only three-point attempt of the night.
"The time went down and I had the ball in my hand so I had to take a shot," Simmons told reporters.
The 2018-2019 All-Star and No. 1 overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft scored a team-high 21 points and recorded eight rebounds and seven assists in the win. Andrew Nicholson scored a game-high 36 points for the Long Lions.
"I think the whole thing [Simmons not making a 3-pointer] is so overblown," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "In general, the attention is so inflated."
The 76ers face the Charlotte Hornets in another preseason game at 7:30 p.m. EDT Friday at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.