A physical Ben Simmons starred as the Philadelphia 76ers earned a battling 100-89 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
The Australian registered 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Joel Embiid-less hosts.
But it was his willingness to play a power game that proved the difference, with Simmons at one point breaking down the court alone, dropping a shoulder into Chicago’s Lauri Markkanen and nailing a poster dunk over the seven-foot Finn.
Simmons was not alone, with Furkan Korkmaz stepping up to net a career-best 24 points including six three-pointers.
Carmelo Anthony became the 18th NBA player to score 26,000 career points when the Portland Trail Blazers took on the Dallas Mavericks.
The veteran, who has played for five teams during his 17-year career, needed just eight points to join the elite club and recorded his eighth and ninth with five minutes left in the first quarter.
Anthony’s milestone was a rare highlight for the Trail Blazers as they lost 120-112 to the Mavericks, with Luka Doncic scoring 35 points.
In other games, the Indiana Pacers closed out a 116-114 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Toronto Raptors won 140-111 against the Washington Wizards and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied late but still fell to a 115-108 loss to the Miami Heat.
The Cleveland Cavaliers came agonisingly close but the Memphis Grizzlies finished 113-109 winners, securing their seventh straight victory, while the Atlanta Hawks won in San Antonio for the first time since 1997 when Kevin Huerter nailed a three-pointer with six seconds left to register a 121-120 victory over the Spurs.