Ben Simmons recorded his 12th triple-double of the season with 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Cleveland Cavaliers 132-130 Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
JJ Redick scored 28 points, Marco Belinelli contributed 23 and Ersan Ilyasova had 17 for the surging Sixers (49-30), who won their 13th straight game for the first time since the 1984-85 season. The Sixers also moved past the Cavaliers and into the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings with one game at hand. Cleveland has two games remaining, while Philadelphia has three.
Robert Covington added 11 and Markelle Fultz had 10.
LeBron James posted his 18th triple-double of the season with 44 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, though he committed eight turnovers. Jeff Green scored 33 points and Kevin Love added 17.
Cleveland kept pushing and James’ 3-pointer from the wing closed the gap to 111-107 slightly more than three minutes into the fourth quarter. On the next possession, James scored on a driving layup and the lead down to 111-109. James scored nine straight points for the Cavaliers.
The Sixers then responded with a 6-0 run, extending their advantage to 117-109 with 6:35 left.
Green scored with 3:05 remaining and the Cavaliers trailed 123-120.
Redick put it all but out of reach with a clutch 3-pointer from the baseline for a 128-120 advantage with 1:34 remaining. But Cleveland never gave up and cut the lead to 128-127 when Green hit a triple with 12.4 seconds left.
With the Cavs down by three, Covington fouled James on a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left. James missed the second free throw and then misfired on the third on purpose. The tip-in was no good and the Sixers held on.
The Cavaliers didn’t dwell on a major first-half deficit and quickly cut into the lead, slicing within 85-70 less than four minutes into the third. Green later hit a 3-pointer and the Cavaliers got within 85-75.
James drove to the basket and the lead was suddenly trimmed to 87-80 with 5:42 left in the third.
With 23.9 seconds left, James threw down a dunk to close within 105-98. That was the score at the end of the third of a wild game.
The Sixers came out scorching and shot 57 percent on their way to a 78-55 lead at halftime.
Philadelphia jumped out to a 55-32 advantage then pushed it to 65-37 on a deep 3-pointer by Belinelli with 5:26 remaining. The lead ballooned to 78-48 before the Cavaliers scored the final seven points.
Simmons nearly recorded a triple-double by halftime with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
The 78 first-half points were the most the Sixers had scored in any half since pouring in 80 on Feb. 11, 1992 at Miami.
—Field Level Media