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The Philadelphia 76ers hosted Thursday's London game against the Celtics, which showcased two of the league's more exciting teams to an global audience.

For the teams, that's the obvious payoff. Irving, who knows a thing or two about closing out games, recognized what he has in Tatum early in the season, and the two are tied for the best clutch scoring duo in the National Basketball Association (149 points, tied with Butler/Wiggins; Lillard/McCollum as of January 10).

Boston will also be playing competitively in London for the first time this week, though did take part in a pre-season game at The O2 in October 2007. "I'm appreciative of all fan votes".

Brown led five players in double figures for the Celtics, with guard Kyrie Irving adding 20 to go along with seven assists and six rebounds.

"It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life - the opportunity to come here, play this handsome game and create some heart on the floor".

Playing on the worldwide stage, the Sixers jumped out to a 22-point lead in the first half against the top team in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics will be without forward Gordon Hayward who suffered an ankle injury on the opening night of the National Basketball Association season last month.

Still, Philadelphia (19-19) is very much in contention for a playoff berth, a marked improvement on recent years.

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The game is live on BT Sport or via NBA LEAGUE PASS. These youngsters have the winning experience of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford to provide stable scoring and leadership.

"I'm loving London! It's got some similarities with some cities in the United States", declared the 23-year-old. "It's not about whether the world is flat or whether the world is round".

Ben Simmons, 76ers: "I've never played here, so this will be the first time playing basketball in the United Kingdom for me".

"That would be fantastic", said Simmons, who's now just under 50,000 votes off a starting place. That's just a true testament of professionals in this league, able to come in and know their roles.

The next voting update comes out following Thursday's game, with polls closing Monday.

Ben Simmons has no doubt that he's the NBA's top rookie.

Smart said his side are "shooting for the stars". That alone should have told you that the averages were going to come into play and that the C's would make their push. "This is the challenge, for Ben and Joel, that's my mission for them". They tried to force the ball through tiny spaces, took a number of highly-contested shots, and let the 76ers, especially Simmons and J.J. Redick, get what they wanted.

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