It was a nervous finish for the Philadelphia 76ers in New Orleans, escaping with a 111-110 win after holding off a furious Pelicans comeback.
Philly led by 10 points with 2:48 minutes remaining before going cold down the stretch, while Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle dragged the Pelicans back into the contest with some big buckets.
Randle's layup made it a one-point game with 9.7 seconds left, before Philly's Jonathon Simmons missed a pair of free throws to give the Pelicans a chance.
E'Twaun Moore had a look from three to win it, but Jimmy Butler produced a desperate play on the defensive end to seal the W for Philly.
Jimmy Butler's block preserves Sixers win over the Pelicans pic.twitter.com/td9FbtpUPZ- CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 26, 2019
Harris finished with a game-high 29 points and 10 rebounds, while Ben Simmons added 14 points and 12 rebounds. JJ Redick added 16 and Butler 11, while Aussie rookie Jonah Bolden impressed in just the fourth start of his career, recording nine points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks, putting in another strong performance on the defensive end.
🇦🇺 @Jonahbolden43 impressed in the starting lineup, with a strong performance on both ends in the @sixers 111-110 win over the @PelicansNBA #HereTheyCome- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) February 26, 2019
📊 9 PTS | 6 REB | 3 AST | 2 BLK pic.twitter.com/csGvRzKzT2
In the absence of Joel Embiid, Simmons led from the front, signalling his intent early as he barged his way into the paint at will, catching the Pelicans napping in transition.
👀 @BenSimmons25 getting fancy in transition #HereTheyCome pic.twitter.com/aozTPoHrga- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) February 26, 2019
With the Pelicans sagging off the Aussie on defence, daring him to shoot, he did just that, letting a three-pointer fly in the opening minutes, just his second attempt of the season.
OH SIMMONS TRIED IT.- NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 26, 2019
Ben Simmons attempts another legitimate NBA triple, it was a miss, but we know Sixers fans have to be happy with the progress. He turns the miss into a bucket, though. pic.twitter.com/sC1KzZHqLo
Anthony Davis, who is still on a minutes restriction was not on the floor in crunchtime, playing just 21 minutes on the night. He finished with 18 points, six rebounds and three blocks, while Jrue Holiday led the Pelicans with 22 points and seven assists. Julius Randle added 19 points and 14 rebounds
Philly now improves to winning road record of 15-14 and 39-22 on the season, while the Pelicans drops to 27-35, sitting 13th in the Western Conference.