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3 Notes After Sixers Win Finals Without Embiid, It Still Ends in Championship Play-NBC Sports Philadelphia

3 Notes After Sixers Win Finals Without Embiid, It Still Ends in Championship Play-NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Sixers did their part on Sunday afternoon.

However, even with eight straight wins, they did not get the help needed to stay out of the NBA's play-in tournament.

The Sixers earned a 107-86 win over the Nets at Wells Fargo Center in the regular season finale. As the Magic beat the Bucks and the Pacers beat the Hawks, the Sixers sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference at 47-35.

The Sixers will host A.J Playing in the tournament Wednesday's game against the Heat. If they win that, they will move on to the playoffs as the seventh seed in the East. If they lose to Miami, the Sixers will face the winner of the Bulls-Hawks game in a game to determine the No. 8 seed.

The Knicks earned the No. 2 seed on Sunday by defeating the Bulls in overtime. This means that if the Sixers beat the Heat, New York will be their first-round opponent.

Therese Maxey scored 26 points against the Nets. Tobias Harris had 21 points and eight rebounds.

The Sixers were behind Joel Embiid (recovering from a left knee injury), Dean Anthony Milton (recovering from a back injury), KJ Martin (left knee bruise) and Robert Covington (left knee bone bruise).

Here are notes on the Sixers' big win over Brooklyn in the regular season finale:

There's not a lot of cooking early besides maxi

The Sixers didn't start out as a distracted team because of all the relevant events happening elsewhere.

They played active defense, looked for transition opportunities, relied on Maxey, and scored the first seven points of the day.

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Maxey played a particularly aggressive first quarter, scoring dozens of points on 5-for-9 shooting. However, the Sixers held just 10 points outside of the All-Star team in the first half. No Sixers shot the last three points.

The Sixers also experienced several defensive breakdowns in transition, which head coach Nick Nurse identified as a concern entering the game. Noah Clowney drained a layup with 5.1 seconds left in the first quarter and Brooklyn took its first lead, 23-22.

Big guys, get the job done

Mo Bamba starts in place of Embiid. With Allen Iverson sitting courtside two days after his sculpture was unveiled at the Sixers' training complex, Bamba shook Dikembe Mutombo's finger after his second block on Clowney.

After Bamba's opening period, Paul Reid played 12 straight minutes in the midfield position. Perhaps his best plays were a balanced and patient assist to Buddy Hield. When there was nothing for Reid at the post, he waited for his teammate to break free and spotted Hield cutting down the middle.

On Sunday, Hield became the first NBA player to reach 84 games in a season in 19 years. (Casey Jacobsen did it in the 2004-05 season). He gave the Sixers a useful spark off the bench early in the second quarter. Hield scored eight quick points, constantly tried to up the tempo, and did a solid job defensively.

The goaltender hit a trio of 3-pointers late in the third quarter as well. He finished the day with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Harris played alongside the Sixers' second unit and looked to attack often in a 15-point first half. The Sixers were ahead when Maxey came back in the second quarter and extended their lead to double digits on a triple by Harris and Maxey.

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Sixers fold professionally

The Nets were the better team at the beginning of the third quarter. Cam Thomas drilled two long-range jumpers and Brooklyn went on an 8-2 run.

Bamba was aggressive in the opening of the third, chipping in a number of putback buckets. Kyle Lowry contributed plenty of tough, smart plays that helped the Sixers get back on track, including an offensive foul on Nick Claxton in the post.

Lowry was scoreless on Sunday, but he had eight assists and brought all the qualities of a six-time All-Star who has multiple playoff appearances and playoff-like appearances under his belt.

Hield's shooting flurry put the Sixers ahead by 18 points after three quarters. Early in the fourth period, the Nets' demeanor was that of a team realizing their season was coming to an end.

Nurse called timeout at 7:34 of the fourth quarter, replaced Jeff Dawton Jr. and Ricky Council IV, and watched his team close out another win. Deck Play Championship.