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Ben Simmons gets fired from the Brooklyn Nets as the team loses for the fourth straight

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Phoenix – Brooklyn Nets forward Ben SimmonsThe struggles continued during a 117-112 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night, in which he was ejected for an altercation with referee Eric Lewis after playing just 18 minutes.

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The loss was the fourth in a row for the Nets, who continued to falter without a star forward Kevin Durantwho is out for several more weeks due to a sprained MCL in his right knee.

And when asked how the team can get Simmons back on track, Nets coach Jack Vaughn noted that his struggles come on “both sides of basketball.”

“We want it to be productive, and that’s without faults,” said Vaughn. “That helps us recover the basketball. That plays with poise and composure. That pushes the pace for us.”

“Unfortunately, when you’re a really good basketball player, your list is long and so are the responsibilities. And hopefully we’ll keep asking him about those things and challenging him and challenging this group to be able to answer those long lists.”

After notching his first triple-double as a Netter in Tuesday’s loss against the San Antonio Spurs, Simmons spent Thursday’s game mired in bad tackle and finished with seven points, four rebounds, six assists and four turnovers. It’s been a recurring pattern of inconsistency for the former star, who has missed 11 games this season due to various injuries.

After being called for his fifth foul with 8:47 left in the third quarter, Simmons continued chirping at Lewis and was soon whistled twice within a few seconds. After the match, he refused to go into detail about the sequence.

“I don’t want to say anything because I’m not trying to get another fine,” Simmons said.

Simmons said he believed he did not receive a consistent whistle throughout the game on how the monitors were set.

“I think if you’re going to call the game that way, you have to be consistent,” he said. “I think it’s been like this all year. If you’re going to call it a move back, you have to be consistent [on] BOTH parties. Same with a contract.”

Aside from Simmons’ performance in Thursday’s game, the biggest problem for the Nets is that he wasn’t the All-Star-caliber player the organization thought it would get when it was traded for him before deadline last February in a deal that sent James Harden To the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons showed flashes of his old play, but his inability to stay grounded and contribute at a high level became an issue as the season wound down.

While Vaughn remains hopeful that Simmons will find his way with more film work and continued dialogue with the coaching staff, Simmons’ shortcomings are becoming more apparent as the Nets try to turn things around without Durant. The Nets come into Friday’s game against the Utah Jazz after losing four in a row and have road games with the Golden State Warriors and Simmons’ old team, 76 next.

Simmons is averaging 7.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists so far this year. So what else can curling do to bring him back up again?

“The same thing we were doing was just giving him a lot of confidence,” the Nets guard Kyrie Irving He said. “But also knowing that he’s mature enough to handle himself. He’s a very talented basketball player, and we can name all the formulas for excelling, but we need him in the game and I think he understands that, especially during this period that we’re going to need him in every game.”

“I’ve only been sent off once before in my career. Tempers run high, you disagree with referees, but the big picture is the most important thing, and on this team, I think Ben realizes that. But tonight, his emotions just get the best of him.”

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