In one of the biggest games in recent Philadelphia history, the Sixers nearly squandered a 30-point lead, surviving a huge comeback from the Cleveland Cavaliers to squeak out a two-point victory, 132-130, a 13th win on the bounce.
Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis also were on the list of players the Americans can choose from if they qualify for the 2019 Basketball World Cup and 2020 Olympics.
"They completely understand that it's now April and we're going to blink and be playing in the playoffs", 76ers coach Brett Brown said. With the Pacers losing, they're just one more win (or an Indy loss) away from clinching home court in the first round - though they basically need to win out to secure the three seed, as they're only a half-game over the Cavs, without the tiebreaker, and all Cleveland has left on their schedule is a home-and-home against the woeful Knicks.
The contest was played with the intensity of a playoff game.
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James was booed each time he touched the ball and signs were spotted in the stands that read "Keep Cryin' in Cleveland" and "We Don't Want You".
The 76ers come into Friday riding a 12-game winning streak.
Reggie Jackson scored half of his 24 points after the third quarter to lead Detroit's 113-106 overtime win against Dallas.
The 6-foot-10 Simmons wowed the crowd with several plays in the first two quarters that brought fans out of their seats in excitement.
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Simmons faked a handoff to Redick and then drove the lane for a dunk. The Cavaliers still have a chance to win it back, but with the Sixers' easy schedule finish, it may be hard for Cleveland to clinch the third seed. Ben Simmons scored 27 points and had 15 rebounds, 13 assists and four steals for the Sixers.
Jeff Green scored 33 points and Kevin Love added 17 for Cleveland (49-31). Heading into the half, the 76ers were up by 23 points.
He scored 21 points in the third and hit successive 3-pointers in the fourth that helped pull Cleveland to 111-109. But before the 76ers could even think, "We did this without Joel Embiid", the Cavaliers roared back to win the second half, 75-54.
Bogdanovic saved the Kings from blowing a double-digit lead in the final four minutes and salvaged a night where the rookie guard from Serbia was 4 of 11 from the field, including missing all five of his 3-pointers for eight points. Redick hit key free throws to put the 76ers up by three and, with the game clock winding down, Simmons shocked the King by intentionally fouling him. James made the first, missed the second, and purposely missed and watched in frustration as Nance's tip missed. And they always kind of do it by committee, and it starts with Ben (Simmons) getting everybody involved. G Jose Calderon (left hamstring) did not play.
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