Sixers Beat Magic, Clinch Top Seed in Eastern Conference
The third time is the charm, as they say. After two failed attempts to clinch the top seed in the East, the Sixers have finally done it. They took care of business against the Magic on Friday night, winning by a final score of .
This is the first time the Sixers have clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference since the 2000-2001 season.
Friday's win was a collective effort from the Sixers. Ten different players recorded eight or more points, with Joel Embiid leading the charge with 13. After two games with a sputtering offense, the Sixers found production up and down the entire roster.
Embiid did not look like himself in Thursday's game against the Heat. That was not the case on Friday. He got back to his dominant ways against Orlando, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds in just 22 minutes of work.
Part of what led to this balanced attack was ball movement. The Sixers did an incredible job sharing the ball, racking up 35 assists on 44 made field goals. Ben Simmons would lead all Sixers with nine.
Orlando is a team not competing for anything at this point in the season, and the Sixers took full advantage of it. They broke out to an early lead and never took their foot off the gas. This was a much-need outing to recalibrate after how the previous two games went down.
While they might have liked to clinch sooner, the Sixers can finally exhale. With their playoff fate officially locked in, they can start to look ahead to the postseason.
Another thing it allows them to do is rest. The blowout victory allowed some "old school load management," but now the team can fully rest in the season finale.
The Sixers will host the Magic again on Sunday for their final game of the regular season. One might expect to see a lot of Paul Reed and Tyrese Maxey in that matchup.