Simmons ties Magic in Sixers scrap
BEN Simmons recorded the seventh triple double of his rookie season but Philadelphia missed an opportunity to gain ground on Indiana in the Eastern Conference playoff race in a 101-98 home defeat on Wednesday (AEST).
Simmons had 10 points, 10 assists and 13 rebounds, moving him into a tie with NBA legend Magic Johnson for the second most in a rookie season. Oscar Robertson holds the record with 26.
Turnovers continue to blight Brett Brown's squad and were the decisive factor in the game as Philly racked up 21 to Indiana's nine.
Joel Embiid had eight, but was the home side's most consistent offensive force as he scored 29 points to go with 12 boards.
Myles Turned (25 points) and Thad Young (19 points) helped Indiana survive an off shooting night by Victor Oladipo (4/21 for 11 points) and snap Philly's 13-game home winning streak.
The 76ers (36-30) remain in sixth place, three games behind the third-ranked Pacers (40-28).
Elsewhere, Russell Westbrook picked up the 100th triple-double of his career and the Oklahoma City Thunder used a 16-0 run late in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Atlanta Hawks for a 119-107 victory.
Westbrook scored 32 points, dished out 12 assists and grabbed 12 rebounds to become the third-fastest player to reach the milestone.
Only Oscar Robertson (277 games) and Magic Johnson (656) got to No. 100 quicker than Westbrook, who accomplished the feat in his 736th contest.
Westbrook trails only Robertson (181), Johnson (138) and Jason Kidd (107) on the career triple-double list.
Jonas Valanciunas carried eastern the conference-leading Toronto Raptors, on an off night for star guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, to their ninth win in a row.
The 116-102 victory over the Brooklyn Nets put Toronto four games clear of the Boston Celtics with Valanciunas netting 26 points and adding 14 rebounds.
Big man Anthony Davis had 31 points and 14 rebounds to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 119-115 win over the Charlotte Hornets.
Jrue Holiday added 25 points, as the Pelicans ended a two-game losing streak to be fifth in the west.
Karl-Anthony Towns recovered from a shot to the mouth which left him down on the court to finish with a season-high 37 points in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 116-111 victory atthe Washington Wizards.
The Timberwolves (40-29) are right in the mix to finish as high as third in west while Washington have lost five of their past seven but remain fifth in the east.
The Los Angeles Clippers retained their place in a play-offs spot with a 112-106 win over the Chicago Bulls while the Dallas Mavericks defeated the New York Knicks 110-97.