Philadelphia (49-30) overtook Cleveland for the third spot in the East with a wild 132-130 victory over the Cavaliers on Friday night for their 13th consecutive victory. The 76ers lead the Cavaliers by one-half game with three to play and would be assured of finishing no worse than fourth in the East with a victory in this game.
Rookie Ben Simmons had 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists for his seventh triple-double during this winning streak and 12th overall. The 13-game run is Philadelphia's longest since reeling off 14 straight wins from December 21, 1982 to January 21, 1983, en route to their last NBA title.
Dallas (24-56) have dropped back-to-back games and ten of their last 12 overall after a 113-106 overtime loss at Detroit on Friday night. Rookie Jonathan Morley, a recent call-up from the G League, had season highs of 26 points and 12 rebounds, but the Pistons held the Mavericks without a field goal for the final 2:34 of the extra period and closed the game on an 8-1 tear.
The Mavericks will finish with their worst record since going 20-62 in the 1997/98 season and will miss the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since a ten-year drought from 1991 to 2000.