76ers win 12th straight, eliminate Pistons 115-108
The Philadelphia 76ers are rolling right along without Joel Embiid.
JJ Redick scored 25 points, and the 76ers won their 12th straight game, eliminating Detroit from playoff contention with a 115-108 victory over the Pistons late on April 4, with Turkish international Ersan Ilyasova posting 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Robert Covington tossing in 12 points along with three steals and two blocks.
Embiid missed a fourth straight game because of a concussion and orbital fracture.
“Everyone in this room has stepped up since Joel went down, and we know we’re capable of winning games without him,” guard Ben Simmons said. “We told him to get ready for the playoffs and that we’ll take care of everything else. Now we’re showing that we can do that.”
The Pistons had their five-game winning streak snapped, and their defeat clinched a postseason spot for the Milwaukee Bucks. The Eastern Conference playoff field is now set, although there’s still plenty of uncertainty over the actual matchups. Philadelphia pulled even with Cleveland for third place in the East.
Anthony Tolliver scored 25 points for the Pistons and went 7 of 8 from 3-point range. Detroit was without star forward Blake Griffin, who missed his fourth straight game because of a bruised right ankle.
Embiid had surgery last weekend to repair a broken bone around his left eye. The 76ers could certainly use him, but so far, they’ve gone right on winning. Redick scored 13 points in the first quarter Wednesday, and backup big man Richaun Holmes had back-to-back dunks to give Philadelphia an 18-17 advantage. An alley-oop to Holmes put the 76ers up 36-28 after one.
The lead reached 19 in the second quarter. Philadelphia was up 65-49 at halftime, and the margin didn’t reach single digits again until the waning moments of the fourth. Detroit did manage to snap Philadelphia’s streak of nine straight double-digit wins.
Redick finished 10 of 13 from the field and 5 of 7 from beyond the arc.
“They’ve got two of the best guys in the entire league moving without the ball, with Redick and (Marco) Belinelli,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “They tore us up tonight.”