Philadelphia 76ers take top seed in East with victory over Orlando Magic

Magic 76ers Basketball
Magic 76ers Basketball (AP)
7:54am, Sat 15 May 2021
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The Philadelphia 76ers snatched the top seed in the Eastern Conference play-offs and secured home-court advantage following a 122-97 win over the Orlando Magic.

Seth Curry netted 20 points and Joel Embiid had a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double against a depleted Magic, with the result securing the Sixers the top seed for the first time since 2001.

The Washington Wizards moved a step closer to the eighth seed and a shot at being Philadelphia’s opponent with a 120-105 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The triumph ended the Chicago Bulls’ play-off hopes and meant the East’s play-in will include seventh seed the Boston Celtics, Washington, the Indiana Pacers and the Charlotte Hornets.

Bojan Bogdanovic had 22 points as Utah Jazz crept closer to securing top seed in the Western Conference play-offs with a 109-93 triumph over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Los Angeles Clippers dropped to fourth in the West with a 122-115 loss to the league-worst Houston Rockets, though the slide means they will avoid facing fellow Californians the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the play-offs.

Moving up to third were the Denver Nuggets, who finished 104-91 winners over the Detroit Pistons courtesy of a triple-double from Nikola Jokic and a career-high 20 points by Markus Howard.

The Dallas Mavericks will avoid the play-ins after ensuring they will be seeded no lower than sixth in the West following a 114-110 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Jordan Poole scored a career-high 38 points to help the Golden State Warriors squeeze past the New Orleans Pelicans 125-122.

The Warriors were without rested stars Steph Curry and Draymond Green but still managed to claim the victory ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies’ visit on Sunday.

Justise Winslow had a season-best 25 points and 13 rebounds as his Grizzlies defeated the Sacramento Kings 107-106.

The winner of the Warriors and Grizzlies game will secure the number eight seed for the West’s play-in round, while the loser will be seeded ninth and have to go 2-0 in the round to progress to the play-offs.

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