Simmons, returning from a back injury which kept him out of the previous game, finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. He then found Smith in transition for another three.
Harden had scored 29 points when he headed straight to the locker room midway through the last quarter, while veteran Carmelo Anthony added a season-high 22 for the Rockets. The 76ers pulled within eight late, but a pair of free throws by Antetokounmpo and a driving, one-handed scoop layup by Eric Bledsoe quickly pushed the lead to 12. Redick completed the four-point play to lead 132-130 with 5.6 seconds remaining and Detroit called timeout. Joel also dominated the on-court battle last season, scoring a combined 78 points to go along with 28 rebounds. Drummond barely made contact with Embiid before the Sixers' outspoken big man acted as if he was punched in the face and fell to the floor.
Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 30 points and 19 rebounds.
"He didn't feel as comfortable as we would've wanted", Brown said. "It's just one of those thighs that with a back-to-back game and giving him the best chance we could give him to possibly play (Wednesday), we felt like it was wise to sit him tonight".
Hoops fans won't have to wait long to see these heavyweight combatants go at it again.
After surrendering 64 first-half points, Milwaukee's defense buckled down in the second half, holding the 76ers to 44 points, including 17 in the third quarter.
After Tuesday's game, Embiid averaging 27.8 points and 9.8 rebounds in four career games against the Pistons.
With solid wins over conference rivals such as the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers already to their name, the Bucks are certainly sending something of an early message, and their schedule in the week ahead will only offer further opportunity to build on that. The Pistons play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.