Charlotte Hornets vs Philadelphia 76ers: Lineups, preview & prediction 3/19/18

The Philadelphia 76ers look to take another step closer to the playoffs Monday night when they host the Charlotte Hornets.

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Philadelphia (38-30) are comfortably inside the top eight in the Eastern Conference, entering this game in sixth and 8.5 games better than ninth-place Detroit. The 76ers, who have not been to the postseason since 2012, are just 1.5 games back of Cleveland for third in the conference, which would carry home-court advantage in the first round.

The Sixers completed a sweep of New York City area teams, following up their 118-110 road win over the Knicks with a 120-116 triumph at home over Brooklyn on Friday night. Joel Embiid shook off a six-for-23 shooting night by hitting all 11 of his free throws and finished with 24 points and a career-high 19 rebounds ahead of his 24th birthday.

Ben Simmons finished two rebounds shy of a triple-double with 21 points and 12 assists, while J. J. Redick contributed 23 points while hitting three of six from beyond the arc. Philadelphia connected on 12 of 27 from 3-point range and have made 38.6 percent of their shots from deep in winning 12 of their last 13 at home.

Charlotte’s playoff chances right now exist only mathematically as they are seven games behind Miami with 12 to play. The Hornets (30-40) are 1-2 on their five-game road trip after being blasted 124-101 at New York on Saturday night. Rookie Dwayne Bacon scored 15 points off the bench to lead six players in double figures, but the Hornets were overwhelmed in the third quarter, getting outscored 42-17.

The Hornets have allowed 100 or more points in their last 14 games and in 29 of their 34 road games. Charlotte have dropped eight of their last 11 on the road, yielding 113.6 points per game as opponents have made 40.3 percent of their shots and 49.3 percent overall.

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