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76ers dump Hawks for franchise-record 15th straight win

By Field Level Media
April 11. 2018 12:43AM
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons shoots the ball against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at Philips Arena. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

JJ Redick scored 28 points, and the streaking Philadelphia 76ers moved a step closer to clinching the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 121-113 road win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday at Philips Arena.

The 76ers, who have won a franchise-record 15 in a row, can seal the No. 3 seed with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday in Philadelphia. The Sixers (51-30) lead the Cleveland Cavaliers (50-29) by one game heading into Wednesday’s finale. The Cavaliers host the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

Philadelphia led the Hawks 89-79 heading into the fourth quarter. Atlanta would not go away and cut the deficit to five with a John Collins put-back dunk with three minutes to play. However, Ben Simmons had a late dunk, and Ersan Ilyasova added a layup to help the Sixers finish off Atlanta.

Simmons shook off an illness that put his status for Tuesday’s game in question to score 14 points, grab 10 rebounds and hand out six assists with six turnovers. Ilyasova scored 26 points off the bench and Marco Belinelli added 20 points for Philadelphia.

Taurean Prince led the Hawks with 27 points. Prince set a Hawks franchise record with 18 3-point attempts in the game, making six. Tyler Dorsey had 17 points off the bench, and Dewayne Dedmon added 14 points and seven rebounds for Atlanta.

The 76ers haven’t lost since a 101-98 home defeat to the Indiana Pacers on March 13. Philadelphia is headed back to the playoffs for the time since 2012 and is expected to get All-Star center Joel Embiid back at some point in the postseason. Embiid has been out for two weeks since sustaining an orbital fracture and going through the NBA’s concussion protocol.

Starting forward Dario Saric took an unintentional elbow to the mouth while battling for a rebound on the first possession of the game. He sustained a lacerated upper lip and did not return.

Atlanta is in position for a high lottery after finishing the season at 24-58.