NBA: Sixers clinch No. 1 seed in East with win over Magic

Field Level Media, Reuters

Posted at May 15 2021 12:19 PM

NBA: Sixers clinch No. 1 seed in East with win over Magic 1
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) drives against Orlando Magic guard Dwayne Bacon (8) during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Seth Curry scored 20 points, Shake Milton added 15 and the host Philadelphia 76ers clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 122-97 victory over the undermanned Orlando Magic on Friday.

Joel Embiid contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds while Ben Simmons had 13 points and nine assists for the Sixers (48-23), who will complete the 72-game regular season with another game against the Magic on Sunday before the playoffs begin.

The Sixers improved to 28-7 at home.

The Sixers played without key reserve Dwight Howard, who was suspended after being assessed his league-high 16th technical foul in Thursday's loss on the road to the Miami Heat.

Ignas Brazdeikis led the reeling Magic (21-50) with a career-high 21 points while R.J. Hampton added 12 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Chasson Randle also scored 12 points.

Cole Anthony and Mo Bamba had 11 each for the Magic. Dwayne Bacon went 0 for 11 from the field but made all four free throws.

The Magic have dropped six in a row.

The Sixers breezed to a 56-34 lead with 4:04 left in the second quarter as Embiid was dominant in the middle.

Philadelphia led 66-43 at halftime thanks in large part to Embiid's 13 points and eight rebounds.

Brazdeikis produced a surprising 14 points for the Magic by halftime.

The Magic missed 10 straight treys during one stretch between the second and third quarter and fell behind 70-51. Curry and Green then hit consecutive 3-pointers for the Sixers and the lead ballooned to 25.

The shot clocks were inoperable during most of the third quarter as public address announcer Matt Cord called out the time remaining on each possession.

Philadelphia held a commanding 96-69 lead at the end of the third.

Brazdeikis scored five straight— a jumper and a deep 3-pointer—yet the Magic still trailed 102-76 with 6:58 remaining in the fourth.