76ers rout Magic 118-98 for fifth straight win
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 23, 2018 09:42 AM
Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) gestures with his hands after making a shot and drawing a foul during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Thursday, March 22, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
By Dick Scanlon, Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Joel Embiid had 17 points and nine rebounds in just 20 minutes and the surging Philadelphia 76ers moved closer to a playoff berth with a 118-98 victory over the Orlando Magic on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time).
Ersan Ilyasova scored 18 points, leading six Philadelphia players in double figures as the 76ers (41-30) won their fifth straight and clinched their first non-losing season in six years. Robert Covington and Marco Belinelli added 15 points.
Rodney Purvis came off the bench to score 19 points for the Magic, who have lost eight of nine. Aaron Gordon, the only Orlando starter to score in double figures, had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Embiid and J.J. Redick combined for 10 points in a 12-0 run that left the 76ers with a 70-47 lead just before halftime.
The Magic's last lead was 14-12 after Nikola Vucevic made a three-pointer midway through the first quarter. Belinelli scored on an inbound pass play to tie it, then hit a jump shot to put the 76ers ahead to stay. They led by double figures after the first 15 minutes and by 35 at one point.
The 76ers played the fourth quarter without any starters for the second straight night, leaving Ben Simmons with six points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Simmons has nine triple-doubles. Only one player in NBA history has produced as many as 10 triple-doubles in his rookie season. Oscar Robertson had 26 triple-doubles in his rookie season of 1960-61.
76ers: Their 41st win clinched their first .500 or better finish since 2011-12, the last time they were in the playoffs. ... The five-game win streak is all against losing teams. The 76ers' last eight wins have come over losing teams. The 76ers are 18-0 when holding opponents under 100 points.
Magic: F Jonathan Isaac, who missed 46 games of his rookie season due to an ankle injury, did not play because of a left foot sprain. ... F Jonathon Simmons was out with a right wrist contusion.
76ers: Host Minnesota on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time).
Magic: Host Phoenix on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time).