Ben Simmons hits triple double in 76ers' NBA win

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Washington (AFP)

Australia's Ben Simmons set himself beyond such NBA immortals as Michael Jordan and Lebron James with a triple double on Monday in only his fourth league contest for the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 21-year-old from Melbourne, last year's NBA Draft top pick who missed all of last season with a right foot injury, scored 21 points, grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and passed out a game-high 10 assists for the Sixers in a 97-86 triumph at Detroit.

Simmons became the first NBA player in 50 years to manage a triple double -- double-digit game production in three statistical categories -- within his first four league starts.

And he's only the third NBA player to manage the achievement, joining Art "Hambone" Williams of the 1967-68 San Diego Rockets and Oscar Robertson of the 1960 Cincinnati Royals.

Each of those players went on to become an NBA champion, Robertson with Milwaukee in 1971 and Williams with Boston in 1974.

Cameroon big man Joel Embiid scored 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the 76ers, who improved to 1-3.

Simmons is averaging 15.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists through his first four NBA games.

At Miami, Josh Richardson scored 21 points and Wayne Ellington netted 19 of his 20 points in the second quarter to lead the Miami Heat over Atlanta 104-93. Ellington made 6 of 7 3-point shots in the second quarter, tying Brian Shaw for a franchise record, as Miami went to 2-1 while the Hawks fell to 1-3.