‘He’s way better than expected’
BEN Simmons' impressive start to his NBA career continued today when he led the Philadelphia 76ers over the Dallas Mavericks, 112-110 to record their second win.
Six games into his rookie season the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft is making up for lost time.
"He doesn't look like a rookie out there. He's just playing basketball," 76ers centre Joel Embiid said.
"Once you play basketball, you don't care about nothing. Everything just comes naturally."
Simmons ended the contest with a staggering statline of 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
The remarkable start to his professional career has him again writing his name into the record books as he became only the second player in NBA history to start their career with six games of at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists, joining Oscar Robertson.
"Everyone knew he was going to be good, but he's way better than expected," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.
"Some of the plays, just amazing stuff."
Joel Embiid added 23 points and nine rebounds as the 76ers won in Dallas for the first time since Jan. 29, 2005.
Simmons won the battle of rookie point guards with Dallas' Dennis Smith Jr, who countered with 12 points and eight assists, but struggled with six turnovers.
Philadelphia seemingly took control and closed the third quarter with a 13-4 run after Dallas took a 76-74 lead with 5:06 remaining in the period.
"I just thought that we got stops and played fast," 76ers coach Brett Brown said.
"All over the place, the game was unusual and I thought to our guys' credit, they played hard, they played together."
The Mavericks opened the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run and kept the game close, but couldn't regain the lead in their final outing before a two-game road trip.