CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ben Simmons — listed on Doubtful Saturday — survived a non-COVID illness to start in the Nets’ 123-106 New Year’s Eve Hornets rout.

It was the Nets’ NBA-best 11th straight win. But Simmons hasn’t gotten too high over streaks, just as he hasn’t gotten too low during previous struggles. It’s a lesson he learned by comparing and contrasting the 76ers teams he asked to trade.

“I know it’s been a long year, so I don’t get too carried away,” said Simmons, who had two points, three rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes. “My experience in Philadelphia was that we had a young team, people who weren’t used to being in the league for a long time, who didn’t know how to win, who didn’t know it wasn’t easy to win. I was there.

“We have a lot of veterans on our team. Ky, Kev, they’re just that kind of people and it’s game-by-game and they understand that they don’t get too hung up on the noise. This is great. .”

Ben Simmons defending the Nets' 123-106 victory over the Hornets.
Ben Simmons defending the Nets’ 123-106 victory over the Hornets.
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Yuta Watanabe came off the bench with 11 points, five rebounds and a career-high five steals. It was his most steals in a single game at net this season and his first five-hit steal game for the team off the bench since Caris Lebart against Chicago on February 8, 2019. was.

“I didn’t know you had five,” Watanabe said. “Coaching started to trust me and gave me a lot of time so I was able to develop my game. I am happy with it.”

The Nets finished December with a 12-1 record, making it the winningest month in franchise history. That was also the league top record for the month. 15 wins in last 16 games, 18 wins in last 21 games.

Center Nick Claxton set a career-high six blocks in two straight games. He is the first player to register six blocks in back-to-back games since Brook Lopez on the Bucks in January 2020, and Sean in November 1996. He is the first net player since Bradley.

Joe Harris has missed four games in a row with a sore left knee, but he appears on pace to return to the Spurs for Monday’s home game.

Director Jack Vaughan said, “Joe is moving forward and I’m looking forward to seeing him when he returns.” [Monday]he actually goes to get treatment [Sunday]I just texted him and he feels better. So get him treated…and see how he reacts.

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