Sunday, 15 July, 2018

76ers grab 3rd seed in the East

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Edward Snyder | 08 April, 2018, 02:39

The Philadelphia 76ers have pushed themselves ahead of Cleveland for the third seed in the NBA's Eastern Conference by holding off the Cavaliers.

The Sixers, who already clinched their first playoff berth since 2012, won again for the fifth straight game without All-Star center Joel Embiid. But this says a whole about the Sixers and one playmaker in particular. At times, it looked like Marco Belinelli understood this and did not even try: you could nearly see James' tail wagging every time the overmatched swingman picked him up on the perimeter off a screen.

"It's a real feeling", Brown said.

"We were all excited to be here in Philadelphia and play before an wonderful crowd in such a big game", Brown said.

The Sixers had a 121-116 lead as James crossed half court to start the play.

Lue came back to a familiar situation as the Cavs, who have endured injuries for months, were missing point guards Jose Calderon (hamstring) and George Hill (ankle). Earlier in the season, they got dinged by the Portland Trail Blazers after leading by 22, and 14 entering the fourth quarter.

The 6-foot-10 Simmons wowed the crowd with several plays in the first two quarters that brought fans out of their seats in excitement.

With a buzz in the city over the Sixers that hasn't been felt since the pre-Process days, they romped to a 30-point lead in the first half and scored 78 points at the break.

Simmons faked a handoff to Redick and then drove the lane for a dunk.




Simmons almost recorded a triple-double by halftime with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

Jimmy Butler returned from right knee surgery and scored 18 points, while teammate Jeff Teague furnished 25 points and eight assists in Minnesota's 113-96 victory over the Lakers.

Who knows. Even with weakened team, James and the Cavaliers have the edge. All five of Wall's shots in the fourth were jumpers as the Cavaliers wisely denied the drive. Dwight Howard had 16 points and 17 rebounds for Charlotte, which led by 24 two minutes into the second quarter. He slowly dribbled toward Sixers forward Robert Covington before getting help from a Kyle Korver pick. "For us to come all the way back it shows what we are capable of doing". Prince finished with 23 points before fouling out in the final minute.

A basket by Markieff Morris gave the Wizards a 110-100 lead with 3:16 left, but James scored six straight, fed Green for layup, and Rodney Hood made two free throws to complete a 10-0 run by the Cavs.

James sunk his first free throw, but was off the mark on his second.

The NBA stars were among the headline names on the list of 35 players chosen Friday for USA Basketball's national team pool of players for 2018-20.

More than anything, though, Friday's victory strengthened the case that the Sixers will be able to make it through the first round without Embiid if that's what it comes to.

We learned a couple of things on Friday night.

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