NBA rookie Ben Simmons had 27 points and 10 assists in a dazzling display for the Philadelphia 76ers but 34 points from Jrue Holiday got the New Orleans Pelicans home 131-124.
The 12th double-double of Australian Simmons's season was highlighted by a handful of explosive, driving dunks, including a reverse jam along the baseline that had his team within a point with 7mins 26secs remaining.
But Holiday scored 19 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter as the hosts overran the 76ers late in the game to hand them a third successive defeat.
Anthony Davis added 29 points and DeMarcus Cousins 23 while Rajon Rondo returned with 13 points and 18 assists for the Pelicans.
JJ Redick had a team-high 28 for Philadelphia, who were without starting forward Robert Covington and centre Joel Embiid, due to back stiffness.
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