ibusinesslines.com July 23, 2018

Ben Simmons thinks he is clear Rookie of the Year

12 April 2018, 01:14 | Melissa Porter

Sunday's NBA roundup: Philadelphia extends winning streak to 14

Sixers' Ben Simmons is already among best in NBA at cutting to basket

A pair of Eastern Conference foes in vastly different situations meet down in the Peach State. The only other 76ers squad to win 14 straight in a season was the 1983 championship team of Julius Erving, Moses Malone and Maurice Cheeks.

Elsewhere in the East, second-placed Boston suffered an upset 112-106 loss to bottom team Atlanta at the TD Garden.

Lance Stephenson, a former Hornet, had 10 rebounds, 10 assists and eight points for the Pacers, who have won seven of their last nine games.

For Indiana (48-33) to win the Central and earn home-court advantage for the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs, it needs to beat Charlotte on Tuesday night and have the Cleveland Cavaliers (49-31) lose their final two games against the New York Knicks.

The win allowed the 76ers (50-30) to lower their magic number to clinch the third seed in the Eastern to two over the Cleveland Cavaliers (49-31) with two games remaining. Philadelphia led by eight after the opening quarter and by 13 at the half: their lead didn't drop below four the rest of the way. The Lakers got swept 3-0 in the season series with the Jazz and have lost seven straight to Utah overall.

The Hawks are one of the best teams in the league in free throw percentage (#5), assists per game (#8) and steals per game (#12).

The 76ers point guard has no doubt he'll be the one taking home the trophy at the end of this season. In 39 minutes, Prince collected 33 points, 5 assists, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block and 7 threes with 5 turnovers. Marvin Williams finished with 16 points and Dwight Howard had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, but All-Star Kemba Walker tallied just 12 points.

With the injured Joel Embiid close to a return, the Sixers will enter the postseason brimming with confidence after another impressive win. Markelle obviously had his shoulder injury. The rookie is averaging 14.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 10.9 assists per game during it, and he joins LeBron James and Russell Westbrook as the only players to average a triple-double over a span of at least 10 games this season. "It's better when you're winning". The Hawks shot an even 50 percent from the floor and hit 15 of their 35 three point attempts in the contest. He is averaging a rookie-and team-best 20.5 ppg while leading the Jazz to the playoffs as well.

Josh Hart had 25 points for Los Angeles. He has given Atlanta a legitimate 3-point shooting threat. If the season ended today, they would host the Heat in the first round with a likely chance of playing either the Celtics or Bucks in Round 2. He's shooting 54.7 percent from the field, while Mitchell has made 43.8 percent of his shots.

Philadelphia has been white hot and hasn't missed a beat even with Embiid out of the lineup of late. Utah (47-33) trails the Portland Trail Blazers (48-32) by a game for the Western Conference's third seed. Facing an Atlanta team that hasn't shown a ton of fight most of the season, not to mention that they've beaten twice, should be in their favor.

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