JJ REDICK

SIXERS CLINCH 4TH, HOME-COURT WITH 109-97 SPANKING OF MAVS!

By Michael Donovan

The Sixers are the hottest team in the NBA, and yesterday they loaded up again on one of the league’s tankers to clinch fourth place and home-court in the coming playoffs with two games to go.

JJ Redick scored 18 points, and the Sixers matched a franchise record with their 14th consecutive victory, 109-97 over the Dallas Mavericks.

Ben Simmons added 16 points, seven rebounds and nine assists, and Robert Covington had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Two years after going 10-72, the Sixers (50-30) clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and secured their first 50-win season since Allen Iverson’s 2000-01 team, which lost in the Finals.

The only other time the Sixers won 14 straight in a single season, Dr. J and Moses Malone delivered the Sixers to the promised land: its last NBA title in 1983.

Harrison Barnes scored 21 points on 9-of-25 shooting, and Dennis Smith Jr. added 20 points for the Mavericks, who have lost three straight and six of seven.

The undermanned Mavs were no match for the Sixers, who won their sixth in a row without injured All-Star Joel Embiid and moved a game ahead of idle Cleveland for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with two games left.

The Sixers played a more up-tempo style without the 7-foot-2 Embiid, who is out until at least the start of the playoffs because of an orbital fracture in his left eye.

Two days after an emotional win over Cleveland, Simmons keyed a 17-3 second-quarter run by assisting on Covington’s consecutive 3-pointers before his twisting layup in traffic that made it 50-34.

The Sixers led by 19 before Smith helped get the Mavs within four points late in the third quarter. But the Sixers quickly got the lead back to double figures early in the final quarter

Dallas shot 11 of 40 from 3-point range in its final road game of the season.

 

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