CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ben Simmons had 20 points and 15 assists as Philadelphia kept up its passing prowess, beating the Charlotte Hornets 119-102 on Sunday.

The Sixers set a team record with its ninth straight game of 30 or more assists — they had 36 on their 48 baskets.

Former Hornet Marco Belinelli scored 22 points off the bench and J.J. Redick had 20. Robert Covington added 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Philadelphia remains in pursuit of homecourt advantage in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

After falling behind 33-28 early in the second quarter, the 76ers went on a 13-1 surge to go ahead with 6:53 left in the opening half.

The Sixers led 68-55 early in the second half. After the Hornets went on a 16-3 surge to get within 72-71 midway through the third quarter, the 76ers scored 14 straight points to pull away.

Charlotte was led by Malik Monk and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with 16 points apiece. Willy Hernangomez added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

TIP-INS

76ers: Coach Brett Brown certainly has had to deal with Joel Embiid being out of his lineup before, but offered great sympathy for the most recent injury (orbital fracture) that will keep him for the rest of the regular season. “For him to continue to have setbacks, you feel for him,” Brown said of Embiid, a 2014 first-round pick who missed the entire 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, 51 games in the 2016-17 season and will miss 19 games this season.

Hornets: Cody Zeller’s sore left knee kept him out of a fourth straight game and Hornets coach Steve Clifford thinks the 7-foot center may not play again this season. “I would say we’re at the stage now where it almost becomes, ‘Why?'” Clifford said of Zeller, who has missed 40 games this season with right and left knee injuries.

UP NEXT

76ers: Host Nets on Tuesday night.

Hornets: Visit Bulls on Tuesday night.

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