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Ben Simmons is first rookie since Blake Griffin with at least 30 points and 18 rebounds in a game

Ben Simmons

The Philadelphia 76ers held on for a 118-113 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

Ben Simmons was cleared to play, despite taking an early exit after injuring his ankle during the Sixers’ loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday. The rookie phenom put on a show and he also overcame a controversial “hack-a- Shaq Simmons” strategy.

The 21-year-old had a red-hot start to the game to put up seven points and six rebounds in the first quarter and completed a double-double with more than a minute to go before half-time. The double-double was Ben Simmons’ 12th of the season. The Sixers led 58-40 at the half-time break.

It was a historic night for the  Aussie prodigy as he ended up with an NBA record 24 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter. However, Simmons reached that feat not because of an ultra-aggressive mentality of taking the ball to the rim, but rather on the Wizards intentionally fouling him to expose his flaw from the charity stripe.

Ben Simmons, though, willed his way, without the help of the opponents, to finish with 31 points and 18 rebound. It was a herculean effort that was last seen from an NBA rookie back in 2011 courtesy of Blake Griffin.

What makes this even more impressive is the fact that Simmons plays point guard. He stands 6-foot-10 alright, but he’s collaring those rebounds in the paint after leaving the opposing point guard far away from the basket. That screams desire and basketball IQ.

Needless to say, Ben Simmons is on a roll and at this pace, he may very well end up with the Rookie of the Year award, by a mile, after the season. That’s what the Sixers get for trusting the process.