Former Newcastle Hunters junior Ben Simmons and his Philadelphia 76ers have held off the Los Angeles Clippers in a thriller to achieve what the young Australian described as the team's best win of the year.
The 76ers fought back from a six-point deficit in the final minutes to win 109-105 in LA on Tuesday (AEDT).
The 21-year-old achieved his eighth double-double in just his first 13 games in the NBA, a feat that has him on the path to become Australia's first basketball superstar.
“I thought he was dominant tonight,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said.
The 76ers, the NBA's worst team in recent years, were jubilant in their locker room in Staples Center in downtown LA after the win.
The victory raises their season record to seven wins and six losses.T hey have the seventh best record in the eastern conference.
“It was big,” Simmons said of the win. “We needed to get back on track.
“I’d say it is the best one so far.”
The 76ers were on the fourth game of their five-stop west coast road trip and had lost consecutive games to the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors.
Simmons had 22 points, 12 rebounds and four assists against the Clippers in a feat that included spectacular dunks and passes.
Philadelphia centre Joel Embiid, with 32 points and 16 rebounds, won the battle with Clippers All-Star big man DeAndre Jordan. Forward Robert Covington also came up big with 31 points, including a late three.
With the game on the line and 22 seconds left, Simmons hit two free-throws to stretch the lead to 105-101.
The Clippers' Blake Griffin led his team with 29 points and six rebounds.
The 76ers finish their road trip on Wednesday against the LA Lakers.