The Philadelphia 76ers were challenged late, but held their nerve to claim a marquee win over the Los Angeles Lakers at home.
Behind a dominant performance from Ben Simmons, the Sixers were able to deny LeBron James a win on a historic night for the future Hall of Famer.
Here's some notes from a big night in Philly.
Ben Simmons continues his tear in lead role
With Joel Embiid sidelines, Ben Simmons has been on an absolute tear, running the Philadelphia new look Philadelphia offence.
Heading into tonight, Simmons was averaging 20.8 points , 9.3 rebounds and 7.9 assists in Embiid's absence, a stretch that has seen the Sixers hold a 5-3 record.
With some authority.@BenSimmons25 | #PhilaUnite pic.twitter.com/BpoxAD36HT- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 26, 2020
Tonight, Simmons was often charged with the defensive job on James, though, the burden of the defensive challenge did not slow him down offensively as he repeatedly pushed the tempo in tansition, opening up driving and passing lanes to either attack the basket or kick it out to the open shooters that surrounded him.
Simmons would finish with 28 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and four steals in 41 minutes of playing time, leading from the front to secure a big win against a genuine title contender.
Often criticised for his aggression offensively, Simmons never relented in this one, finishing 12-for-15 from the floor and continuously attacking the basket with ferocity.
Embiid noted pregame that he hopes to back in the next week, and Brett Brown will simply be hoping this version of Simmons remains, because this version is unstoppable.
Sixers resist furious Lakers rally
When Simmons drove to the basket and finished a tough floater in the lane with 5:33 left in the third quarter, the Sixers held a 78-56 lead.
It was at that moment the game felt like it was beyond the grasp of the Lakers, though, the script quickly flipped as the Lakers made their move.
A 17-7 run, capped by an Alex Caruso runner brought the Lakers to within 12 points with a quarter to play, and that was just the beginning.
Behind eight points from James, the gap was closed to five points with 5:21 to play and Brett Brown quickly took a timeout to rally his troops.
The response was incredibly sharp, with Philadelphia closing the game on a 15-3 run, quickly slamming the door shut on the possibility of a miraculous comeback.
LeBron passes Kobe
Requiring 18 points to pass Kobe Bryant coming into the night, James avoided any fourth-quarter suspense.
He reached the mark with 7:22 left in the third quarter on a drive to the basket that saw him split the defence of James Ennis and Al Horford for a trademark finish.
LeBron James gets to the bucket to move up to 3rd on the all-time scoring list! pic.twitter.com/almofNRKrg- NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2020
The strong Laker fan contingent in Philadlphia immediately errupted, before a timeout was soon called and the entire building acknowledged the extraordinary accomplishment.
James now sits third on the all-time scorers list, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar firmly in his sight at the top of the tree.
James tallied 29 points, seven rebounds and eights assists in this one, although he did commit eight turnovers in his 35 minutes on court.
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