76ers rout Mavericks 109-97, win 14th straight to tie club mark

76ers rout Mavericks 109-97, win 14th straight to tie club mark

76ers rout Mavericks 109-97, win 14th straight to tie club mark

The Sixers' coach is greedy. "I want to be where the greats are".

The 50-win plateau puts another stamp on a tremendous turnaround for a team that won just 10 games two seasons ago. They will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference finals....

The former number one overall pick has grown into his role game by game and already looks like a polished All Star calibre player just one campaign into his hugely promising career.

The undermanned Mavs were no match for the Sixers, who won their sixth in a row without injured All-Star Joel Embiid , who is out until at least the start of the playoffs with an eye injury. At 6-foot-10, it's become nearly commonplace to see Simmons predominantly cover a point guard in one game and then find himself roaming the paint against some of the league's best big man.

This will be the season finale for Atlanta. The Cavaliers wrap up with a home-and-home series Monday and Wednesday against NY. As division winners, they hold the tiebreaker over the Sixers should both teams finish with the same record. Simmons has converted 74.2 percent of his shots when finishing at the rim, and he has been doing it mainly on his own, as nearly two-thirds of those 69 field goals have been unassisted.

That could change Tuesday night. The Bucks (44-37) are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings after Monday's home win over Orlando and Miami's home loss to Oklahoma City that dropped the Heat to 43-38 and the seventh seed.

It is very rare that you get a chance to see the best young talent in the National Basketball Association compete in a playoff series, and there is all kinds of history to go back to between these teams as well. The contest was more lopsided than the margin of victory suggests.

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Atlanta, despite being without injured starters Kent Bazemore and Dennis Schroder, has continued to play hard for coach Mike Budenholzer.

Simmons is enjoying a phenomenal freshman campaign, averaging 16 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists while shooting 54.7 percent from the field and snagging 1.7 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. He's notched 12 of them this season, which ranks him third in the league behind Russell Westbrook (24) and James (18).

Serge Ibaka scored 13 points, and Jakob Poeltl and Delon Wright each had 12.

The Sixers led by 19 before Smith helped get the Mavs within four points late in the third quarter.

Yet, Brown doesn't want his squad overconfident.

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

"We are growing a culture", Brown said. "It shows how far we've come for the season".

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