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Aussies in NBA: Simmons with career-high as 76ers edge Mavs
The Philadelphia 76ers held off the Dallas Mavericks 112-110 in a close one to record their second win of the season. It took a new career-high from Ben Simmons and another big game from Joel Embiid to earn the 76ers their first win in Dallas since 2005.
Simmons was superb. The 6'10 rookie poured in a new career-high 23 points on and efficient 10-of-15 shooting while also adding 7 rebounds and 8 assists. He was aggressive, dominant, and his passing ability was on full display. Some of his assists were simply awe-inspiring, none better than in the opening minutes of the game when he found Embiid for a corner three thanks to a wrap-around pass where one would have thought Simmons had eyes in the back of his head.
Thanks to his big haul, Simmons joined Oscar Robertson as the only other player in NBA history to start their careers in recording more than 10 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists across their first 6 games. Should Simmons replicate his performance in the 76ers next game against the Houston Rockets, he will own the record outright, overtaking Robertson who went 6 straight games 57 years ago.
While the 76ers came away with the win, the result could very well have gone the other way. The Mavericks had a chance to tie the game up with just 0.2 seconds left in regulation, however Yogi Ferrell missed the front-end of his trip to the charity stripe. He deliberately missed the second, and fortunately for Philly, that is how the score remained as Dallas were unable to rebound and score.
Such has Simmons' hot start to his NBA career, he is now averaging an incredible 16.4 points, 10.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. Right now, those numbers and the importance of Simmons to his team's chances, surely have him pegged as favourite for Rookie of the Year honours.