Ben Simmons has returned to NBA action with a double-double but the Philadelphia 76ers but a career-high 53 points from T.J. Warren led the Indiana Pacers to a 127-121 win.
Simmons – who played more than 38 minutes in his first NBA game since he suffered a back injury before the season was shut down due to coronavirus in March – had 19 points and 13 rebounds, making eight of his 14 field goal attempts.
He was moved to power forward by coach Brett Brown for the season restart in the Orlando bubble with Shake Milton instead starting at point guard.
But Milton struggled and had to be separated at the end of the first quarter from Sixers star centre Joel Embiid – who was spectacular with 41 points, 21 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots – after a disagreement.
Tobias Harris added 30 points for the Sixers who are now 39-27 on the season after the defeat in their season restart match.
Warren was 20-of-29 from the field, including 9-of-12 from beyond the 3-point arc, as he blasted past his previous career-high of 40 points.
He became the first Pacers players since Jermaine O’Neal in 2005 to score at least 50 points.
Aaron Holiday had 15 points and 10 assists while Victor Oladipo added 15 points for the Pacers, who improved to 40-26 despite playing without key injured starters Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon.
Philadelphia led by six points at three-quarter time but the Pacers outscored them 46-34 to close out an important win over their Eastern Conference rivals.
Simmons was not the only Australian to lose on Saturday with Joe Ingles’ Utah Jazz beaten 110-94 by the fast-starting Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Jazz trailed by 24 points at halftime.
Los Angeles Clippers set a franchise record 25 made three-pointers in their 126-103 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Paul George made eight of his 11 shots from long range in his 28 points while Kawhi Leonard had 24 points.
The Pelicans had a minor injury scare midway through the first half when rookie sensation Zion Williamson appeared to roll his right ankle but he was able to finish the game.
Miami Heat defeated the Denver Nuggets 125-105 in the first restart game for both teams.
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