Ben Simmons lost a tooth but proved a match for milestone man LeBron James as he led the Philadelphia 76ers to a 108-91 upset win over NBA title favourites the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 35-year-old James passed Lakers legend Kobe Bryant to become the NBA's all-time third highest scorer during the match, finishing it on 33,655 points and now trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928).
But it was his young Australian point guard counterpart Simmons who took the spoils on his home court.
Continuing to step up in the absence of injured superstar Joel Embiid, Simmons scored 28 points and added 10 rebounds, eight assists and four steals in his 41 minutes on court, getting good help from Tobias Harris (29 points).
Simmons had a tooth knocked out and was evaluated at halftime but continued and finished with 12 of 15 shooting.
James had 29 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in 35 minutes as he and Anthony Davis (31 points) dominated the Lakers' output.
Sitting sixth in the eastern conference with a 30-17 record, the win over the western conference-leading Lakers (36-10) was a good confidence booster for Brett Brown's men.
The 76ers were also without regular starter Josh Richardson (hamstring) but they improved to 6-3 since they lost All-Star centre Embiid with a torn ligament on a finger in his left hand. They hope to get him back as soon as next week.
Their coach Brown paid tribute to James after his milestone achievement.
"You step back and you watch his body of work no matter where he goes," Brown said.
"It's just off-the-charts unique. He does it with class. He's got character. He lives right. He acts right.
"He's arguably the greatest player to ever play our sport."
In Salt Lake City, Joe Ingles's Utah Jazz showed why they are second only to the Lakers in the western conference as they beat the Dallas Mavericks 112-107.
Centre Rudy Gobert scored 22 points, collected 17 rebounds and blocked five shots while Donovan Mitchell had a game-high 25 points to rally Utah to their fourth straight win.
Bojan Bogdanovic added 23 points for the Jazz while Boomers veteran Ingles chipped in nine points, five assists and four rebounds.
They are now 19-2 over their past 21 games.
Luka Doncic scored 25 points to lead Dallas while Seth Curry added 19 and Kristaps Porzingis 15.
Chris Paul added to his All-Star credentials with his sixth double-double of the season as he helped the Oklahoma City Thunder roll past hosts Minnesota Timberwolves 113-104.
The nine-time All-Star scored 13 of his 25 points in a third-quarter outburst and added a team-high 10 assists as the Thunder won their fifth straight both overall and on the road.
Australian Associated Press