PHILADELPHIA (AP) — 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.
Ben Simmons added 16 points, seven rebounds and nine assists, and 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 2000-01 team, which lost in the Finals.
The only other time the Sixers won 14 straight in a single season, Dr. J and Moses Malone delivered Philadelphia its last NBA title in 1983.
Harrison Barnes scored 21 points on 9-of-25 shooting, and Dennis Smith Jr. added 20 points for the Mavericks, who have lost three straight and six of seven.
The undermanned Mavs were no match for the Sixers, who won their sixth in a row without injured All-Star Joel Embiid and moved a game ahead of idle Cleveland for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with two games left.
Philadelphia played a more up-tempo style without the 7-foot-2 Embiid, who is out until at least the start of the playoffs because of an orbital fracture in his left eye.
Two days after an emotional win over Cleveland, Simmons keyed a 17-3 second-quarter run by assisting on Covington’s consecutive 3-pointers before his twisting layup in traffic that made it 50-34.
The Sixers led by 19 before Smith helped get the Mavs within four points late in the third quarter. But the Sixers quickly got the lead back to double figures early in the final quarter
Dallas shot 11 of 40 from 3-point range in its final road game of the season.
Mavericks: Barnes started 0 of 7 from the field and missed his first three free throws. … Smith got a first-quarter technical foul for trash-talking Markelle Fultz after a driving layup. . Dallas finished 9-32 on the road.
76ers: The 1982-83 Sixers won 14 straight from Dec. 21-Jan. 21. … Philadelphia won 18 straight over two seasons in 1966. … The Sixers last lost March 13 to Indiana. … Fultz got almost all the backup minutes at point guard. T.J. McConnell didn’t play until final minutes. … Ersan Ilyasova had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Sixers coach Brett Brown said Embiid could resume conditioning and shooting as soon as Monday.
The Mavericks ensured they will stay below Orlando and keep the fourth-worst record in the NBA. Only Atlanta, Memphis and Phoenix have poorer records.
Mavericks: Season finale Tuesday night at home vs. Phoenix.
76ers: Monday night at Atlanta.
© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.