Tue, Apr 10, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Playoff-bound 76ers rout Mavs for 14th straight win

AP, PHILADELPHIA

Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown acknowledged that after he told his players and the media before the season began that the goal was to make the playoffs, it “wasn’t well received” by many in the cautious front office.

Turns out, Brown had the pulse of The Process.

Not only are the Sixers headed to the post-season, they are poised to make some noise.

J.J. Redick on Sunday scored 18 points as the surging 76ers matched a franchise record with their 14th consecutive victory, 109-97 over the Dallas Mavericks.

Ben Simmons added 16 points, seven rebounds and nine assists, while Robert Covington had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Two years after going 10-72, the Sixers (50-30) clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and secured their first 50-win season since Allen Iverson’s 2000-2001 team, which lost in the NBA Finals.

“In our profession, Brett has become a legend,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s just been unshakable as a leader, and as a guy that’s always pushed his teams to always play at their highest capacity in terms of energy and effort... They’ve added a few veterans and they’ve done a great job with the draft.”

The only other time the Sixers won 14 straight in a single season, Dr J and Moses Malone delivered Philadelphia their last NBA Finals title in 1982-1983.

“I wouldn’t want to play these guys in the first round with them having home-court [advantage],” Carlisle said. “Not in this place.”

However, Brown, now 125-283 in his fifth year in Philly, is still taking the long view after experiencing the pain of The Process’ early years.

“We are growing a culture and, oh by the way, we’ve won 50 games, and we have home-court advantage and we’ve tied a record. That’s true, but that is never really what’s most on my mind,” Brown said.

Harrison Barnes scored 21 points on nine-of-25 shooting, while Dennis Smith Jr added 20 points for the Mavericks, who have lost three straight and six of seven.

“I thought we played pretty hard,” Carlisle said. “This is a very hard team to play.”

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