The Sixers had the day off but there was a game of significance for them this Sunday. The Orlando Magic visited the Boston Celtics and got the road upset. The win by the Magic ensures that for the second straight year the Philadelphia 76ers will be the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Terrence Ross led the way with 26 points. He was electric down the stretch hitting contested triples all lover the Green team. Nikola Vucevic was huge with 25 points and 12 boards, and Evan Fournier kicked in 24 points himself.
Now the Sixers can rest. They no longer have any incentive to win either of the next two games (one in Miami and one at home vs. Chicago) and thus have earned the luxury to preserve stars and experiment with bench players before the playoffs.
Marcus Smart left the game with a bruised left hip and strained oblique. He did not return. Jayson Tatum was also injured and left with a left shin contusion. It was a tough day for Boston losing key players and ultimately the game and their chance at surpassing the Sixers in the rankings. If the Conference Finals now includes them and Philadelphia, home court will be on South Broad Street.
For the Sixers, James Ennis is nursing a quad injury, Joel Embiid has dealt with left knee tendinitis since the All-Star Break, Jimmy Butler has a sore back and JJ Redick is in need of rest from all the sprinting he does off screens.
Last night was also a mile stone for head coach Brett Brown who became only the 3rd coach in team history to record multiple 50 win seasons. As of now the Sixers will host the Nets in the first round.