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Ben Simmons hits triple double in 76ers’ NBA win

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Australia’s Ben Simmons set himself beyond such NBA immortals as Michael Jordan and Lebron James with a triple double in only his fourth league contest for the Philadelphia 76ers, while playing against the Detroit Pistons on October 23, 2017 © GETTY/AFP/File / Rob Carr

WASHINGTON, United States, Oct 24 – Australia’s Ben Simmons set himself beyond such immortals as Michael Jordan and Lebron James with his first NBA triple double on Monday in only his fourth league contest for the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 21-year-old from Melbourne, last year’s NBA Draft top pick who missed all of last season with a right foot injury, scored 21 points, grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and passed out a game-high 10 assists for the Sixers in a 97-86 triumph at Detroit.

“I felt like I needed to just kind of take over and find guys and make plays,” Simmons said.

Simmons became the first NBA player in 50 years to manage a triple double — double-digit game production in three statistical categories — within his first four league starts.

And he’s only the third NBA player to manage the achievement, joining Art “Hambone” Williams of the 1967-68 San Diego Rockets and Oscar Robertson of the 1960 Cincinnati Royals.

Those players went on to become NBA champions, Robertson with Milwaukee in 1971 and Williams with Boston in 1974.

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors looks at his 2017 NBA Championship ring prior to their game against the Houston Rockets, at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California, on October 17, 2017 © GETTY/AFP/File / EZRA SHAW

The Aussie is also only the second player to open his NBA career with four double doubles, matching Robertson’s rookie run.

Cameroon big man Joel Embiid scored 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the 76ers, who took their first win of the season after three defeats.

“I’m just glad we won, honestly,” said Simmons. “That means so much more than stats for me.

“It’s awesome to have a triple-double but at the same time, it’s even better to win, especially with these guys and a young team like this.”

Simmons is averaging 15.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists through his first four NBA games.

“Him with the ball, able to do the things he does, produces a lot of these mismatches and numbers,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “We were able to post him — he’s able to see over pick-and-rolls — and you see how gifted he is in early offense and the open court.

“He has got that breakaway speed that’s jaw-dropping. And he’s 6-foot-10 (2.03m). That stat line, we were kind of seeing snapshots of that the first three games. It just seems a lot more special when it’s associated with a win.”

– Warriors romp at Dallas –

Mike Conley hit two 3-pointers in a pivotal 13-0 Memphis run in the fourth quarter to help the Grizzlies rally past host Houston 98-90, at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on October 23, 2017 © GETTY/AFP/File / Kevin C. Cox

Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry scored a game-high 29 points while Kevin Durant added 25 points and Klay Thompson had 21 as the defending champion Golden State Warriors improved to 2-2 with a 133-103 rout at winless Dallas (0-4).

Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points and Khris Middleton added 20 to lead the Milwaukee Bucks over visiting Charlotte 103-94. The Greek has cracked 30 points in every game for the 3-1 Bucks.

With 147 points over the first four games of the season for the Bucks, Antetokounmpo broke the club’s four-game season-opening scoring mark of 146 points by Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from 1972.

Mike Conley hit two 3-pointers in a pivotal 13-0 Memphis run in the fourth quarter to help the Grizzlies rally past host Houston 98-90. Spaniard Marc Gasol led Memphis (3-0) with 26 points while Conley added 17.

– Suns win for interim coach –

In their first game after coach Earl Watson was fired following an 0-3 start, Phoenix outlasted Sacramento 117-115 with interim coach Jay Triano guiding the Suns.

De’Aaron Fox’s jumper with 58 seconds remaining pulled the Kings even at 112-112, capping a 14-3 run, but Phoenix hit 5-of-6 free throws in the last minute and Garrett Temple missed a buzzer shot for the Kings.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points to lead five double-figure scorers as the San Antonio Spurs downed visiting Toronto 101-97.

Bradley Beal scored 20 points and John Wall added 19 and 12 rebounds to power 3-0 Washington to a 109-104 victory at Denver.

At Miami, Josh Richardson scored 21 points and Wayne Ellington netted 19 of his 20 points in the second quarter to lead the Miami Heat over Atlanta 104-93.

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