Simmons' triple-double sends 76ers clear in the East as Hawks, Magic fall

By Samuel Green 3 January 2021 33
Simmons' triple-double sends 76ers clear in the East as Hawks, Magic fall

Ben Simmons led the way with his 29th career triple-double as the Philadelphia 76ers claimed top spot in the NBA Eastern Conference with a 127-122 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Simmons dropped 15 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists as Philly opened up a 15-point first quarter lead and never looked back to go 5-1.

Joel Embiid contributed with a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Tobias Harris top scored with 24 points as the 76ers claimed a third straight victory.

The Atlanta Hawks (4-2) fell off the pace in the East following a 96-91 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers as Colin Sexton scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to snatch the win. 

John Wall led the scoring with 28 points as the Houston Rockets made it back-to-back triumphs against the Sacramento Kings, 102-98, in Texas.

Christian Wood posted a double-double with 15 rebounds and 20 points as the Rockets improved from 0-2 to 2-2 since Wall’s arrival, while James Harden was sidelined with an ankle injury.

Big scorers come up short for Magic, Pacers

Nikola Vucevic dazzled, putting up 30 points and 13 rebounds, but it was not enough to prevent the Orlando Magic slipping to 4-2 after a 108-99 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Six OKC players hit double-figures in an all-round team effort as Darius Bazley top scored with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Another big scorer ended up on the losing side as Malcolm Brogdon’s 33-point haul proved to be in vain as the Indiana Pacers were edged 106-102 by a New York Knicks led by RJ Barrett’s 25 points.

Pelicans stars deliver in tight win over Raps

Brandon Ingram (31) and Zion Williamson (21) shared 52 points as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Toronto Raptors 120-116, as Eric Bledsoe logged a double-double (16 points, 10 assists) with no turnovers.

Saturday's results

Houston Rockets 102-94 Sacramento Kings
Orlando Magic 99-108 Oklahoma City Thunder
Indiana Pacers 102-106 New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers 127-112 Charlotte Hornets
New Orleans Pelicans 120-116 Toronto Raptors
Atlanta Hawks 91-96 Cleveland Cavaliers

Clippers at Suns

First hosts second in the Western Conference, as Kawhi Leonard and LA Clippers (4-2) travel to face the red-hot Phoenix Suns (5-1) on Sunday.

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Samuel Green