While the injury to Ben Simmons monopolized practically all the news of the franchise, the 76ers added another victory. Brett Brown’s team beat Orlando 108-101 in a day that was positive for both: for Philadelphia for the victory and for the Magic for sealing their qualification for the playoffs thanks to the defeat of Washington. Last night was the victory number 43 for the Pennsylvania, a figure that allows them to tie with Indiana in the fight for fifth place in the East.
Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris were the game’s top scorers with 23 points each. The Cameroonian center started with problems to score, but gradually made room for himself in the paint and grew in the game until he ended up signing 16 goals in the second half. In addition, he managed to capture 13 rebounds, while Tobias had 15. The forward did not sign a game with 15 or more rebounds and 20 or more points since 2014, when he played precisely for the Magic.
However, the 76ers’ victory was also based on the contribution of two other players: Al Horford, author of 21 points, and Alec Burks, who led the second unit scoring 22. The former Warriors thus signed his best night as a Philadelphia player, and he showed that he can be an important piece in the games to come.
Rosco de Terrence Ross
The Magic, ravaged by the recent losses of Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac, did not find exactly a glut of alternatives. The case of Terrence Ross was especially striking, who was unable to convert any of his 10 shots to the basket and went without scoring for the first time since 2017. They did add Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic, authors of 22 and 21 goals respectively, while that DJ Augustin managed to reach 16.
Despite the fact that Orlando’s qualification for the playoffs was confirmed mathematically, this defeat does have its consequences, since, added to the victory of the Nets, it makes the Florida team appear destined to occupy eighth place in the East. Right now they are 1.5 games behind Brooklyn, which, with just three games to go, makes it seem difficult for them to avoid meeting Milwaukee in the first round.
(Cover photo: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)