At the end of what turned out to be one of the most exciting nights in the young NBA season -- and an excruciating loss for his Philadelphia 76ers -- head coach Brett Brown summed things up well for his young team.

"I'm proud of the effort. We fought and had a great atmosphere," Brown said. ".... I'm proud of our guys."

The city of Philadelphia has felt the same way about its Sixers throughout their surprising start. Friday's loss left Philadelphia at 14-14, tied for the ninth-best record in the Eastern Conference. The game featured a little bit of everything -- trash talk among star players like Russell Westbrook and Joel Embiid, a 17-point comeback by the home team and three overtimes. And it provided further evidence that the Sixers can compete against most teams in the NBA.

"They have a lot of weapons," Ben Simmons said. "We have weapons, too."

On one of the first days of the season, Brown said that the Sixers wanted to make the playoffs this year. A third of the way through the season, that goal is still well within reach. Much of the credit, of course, goes to the surprising production from all of the Sixers' young, bold-faced names.

Simmons is almost two assists per game and one rebound per game shy of averaging a triple-double. Embiid has had at least 20 points in seven straight games and is averaging 24 points, 11 rebounds and 3.5 blocks on the season.

But there's another element to the Sixers' success, one that doesn't make the nightly highlight show or get shared on social media.

"The veterans, they make an impact every day," second-year forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot said.