Grizzlies stay winless on the road in ’18 thanks to 119-105 loss in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA – Robert Covington, J.J. Redick and Dario Saric each had 15 points to pace all five Philadelphia starters in double-figures, and the 76ers continued their push for homecourt advantage in the playoffs with a 119-105 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Joel Embiid added 14 points and Ben Simmons had 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the 76ers (40-30), who won their fourth straight to improve to a season-best 10 games over .500. None of the starters played in the fourth quarter.
Wayne Selden Jr. had 18 points to lead Memphis (19-52), which has lost 21 of 22 overall and 16 in a row on the road.
Philadelphia is closing in on its first playoff berth since 2012, but coach Brett Brown is not satisfied with merely making the postseason. Philadelphia began Wednesday sixth in the Eastern Conference, just a game back of the Pacers for the fourth spot and accompanying home-court advantage for a first-round series. Brown said prior to the game the 76ers are very much focused on a No. 4 seed or better.
“We are on the war path to get homecourt advantage,” he said.
As a result, Brown correctly predicted the 76ers wouldn’t take the lowly Grizzlies lightly.
Philadelphia controlled play in the first half and headed to the locker room up 58-44, led by Embiid’s 14 points. Philadelphia completely pulled away with a dominant third quarter, outscoring the Grizzlies 41-25 to take a 99-69 lead into the fourth.
Philadelphia shot 64 percent (16 for 25) from the field in the period, including 6 for 10 from 3-point range.
The starters didn’t play another minute, saving energy for the second game of the back-to-back on Thursday night at Orlando. The move did prevent Simmons from reaching his fourth triple-double in the last five games.