Instant Replay: Sixers 105, Pacers 95

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Instant Replay: Sixers 105, Pacers 95

BOX SCORE

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Sixers finished off their disappointing regular season with a 105-95 win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. The Sixers finished the season with a 34-48 record.

The Pacers rested a number of key players in the game as the Eastern Conference’s No. 3 seed gets ready for the playoffs.

Turning point
Jrue Holiday, as much as he is coveting some offseason rest, said prior to tipoff that the Sixers really wanted to come out strong and finish the season on the right note.

The Sixers backed up that talk early, grabbing a nine-point lead in the first quarter. They increased that advantage to 22 points at halftime.

Follow the leader
The Sixers were led by Dorell Wright, who had 23 points and five assists. Evan Turner added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Lavoy Allen added 11 points and 11 rebounds for his third career double-double.

Indiana’s Gerald Green led all scorers with 34 points. He shot 14 of 23, including 6 for 11 from behind the arc.

Stat-egic
Since losing 99-91 to the Orlando Magic on March 10, the Sixers won 11 of their final 20 games. That was their best stretch of winning basketball since they started the season 11-9.

Take a bow
Arnett Moultrie had 14 points to go along with a career-high 12 rebounds for his first career double-double.

Moultrie, who appeared in 47 games this season, shot 58 percent from the floor for the year.

Moultrie’s summer regiment will go a long way in him having a more prominent role with the team next year.

What’s next?
Sixers players will convene for one final time this season on Thursday morning at their practice facility to conduct individual exit interviews with Sixers owner Josh Harris, head coach Doug Collins and team president Rod Thorn.

It would appear Thursday will also be Collins’ final day conducting head coaching duties for the organization.

The next steps for the Sixers to decide will be who is Collins’ successor, if they want to give general manager Tony DiLeo a new contract and what is the best way to move forward on the heels of the Andrew Bynum debacle.

Instant Replay: Hawks 110, Sixers 93

Instant Replay: Hawks 110, Sixers 93

BOX SCORE

ATLANTA - Without Joel Embiid, the red-hot Sixers couldn't contain the equally hot Hawks in a 110-93 loss in Atlanta Saturday.

Ersan Ilyasova cranked it up again with 21 points, but the Sixers looked like they ran out of gas in the second quarter, when they gave up 37 points to the Hawks and never caught up to take just their third loss in 11 games. 

Atlanta’s beaten them six straight times, and the Hawks did it this time without their usual long ball proficiency. They won for the ninth time in 11 games making a modest 7 of 20 three-pointers. 

Conversely, the Sixers jacked up 29 threes, converting 12 (41.4 percent) as they saw a three-game winning streak snapped.

Robert Covington added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul Millsap paced the Hawks with 22 points and 10 rebounds while center Dwight Howard scored 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.

Inside the box score
The Sixers matched Atlanta early, as the teams were tied at 25 after one, but their defense loosened in the second quarter and they never could catch up as Atlanta made a whopping 16 of 23 shots in the period.

Twenty-one turnovers doomed the Sixers, who also failed to help themselves on the boards. Atlanta had a 48-38 rebounding advantage.
   
Not enough juice
After trailing by as many as 18 points late in the third period, the Sixers made a run at Atlanta and pulled to within 94-87 on a pair of free throws by Covington with 6:46 left in the game. From there, however, the Hawks rolled.

In a groove
Ilyasova picked up where he left off Friday, when he scored a season-high 24 points in a 93-92 win over Portland. He led all scorers with 12 points in the first half and made 3 of 6 from three overall to stretch his league-leading streak of making at least one long ball to 39 games. Ilyasova made five treys Friday night.

Embiid’s sore knee
Saturday was a rest day for center Joel Embiid, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to play Tuesday against the Clippers. He suffered a contusion to his knee in Friday’s win over Portland.

“Joel will go through more assessments with our medical staff,” Brown said before the game. “I don’t have any more . . . to share. We’ll learn more when we get back to Philly.”

Up next
The Sixers return home to play the Clippers (29-15) Tuesday evening and will follow that with a back-to-back Wednesday in Milwaukee (20-23).

Tim Quarterman: Ben Simmons at PG will 'work out well' for Sixers

Tim Quarterman: Ben Simmons at PG will 'work out well' for Sixers

There are only a handful of people who have played basketball extensively with Ben Simmons, given he has been sidelined thus far into his rookie season with a foot injury. Those who spent Simmons’ freshman year at LSU with him have firsthand insight into the NBA player he has the potential to become.

“He's definitely a team player,” Blazers rookie guard Tim Quarterman, who played with Simmons at LSU, said Friday. “He's a pass-first person. He wants to see his teammates do well. I think when he comes back to play, that's what he'll bring to Philly. He's not one of those people who just tries to go out there to get a 100 points. He's a good teammate.”

Quarterman left school after his junior year and earned a spot on the Trail Blazers' roster. He and Simmons have different stories: Simmons was the first overall pick; Quarterman went undrafted. Simmons has has been out since training camp; Quarterman, while playing sparingly, has experienced live NBA action. Still, the two have shared in the journey of life in the league. 

“It's a cool process going through our rookie season together,” Quarterman said before the Trail Blazers faced the Sixers Friday. “Even though he's not playing right now, he's working to get on the court. I'm sure he'll do great when he gets back out there. I got a chance to talk to him last night. Everything's been good so far.”

The Sixers got a small glimpse of Simmons during training camp before he suffered a Jones fracture on the final day. He recently began participating in 5-on-0 drills. Simmons also has been putting up shots after practice and doing light courtwork during pregame warmups. 

Brett Brown has said he intends to start the 6-foot-10 Simmons at the one spot when he returns. As part of his multi-faceted rehab, Brown has been giving Simmons written tests in which he has to navigate various in-game situations as the point guard. Simmons played point-forward at LSU, where he averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists. 

“He'll be able to space the floor,” Quarterman said of Simmons at the point. “He can see over the defense and make passes that some little guards can't. He can defend. He can move his feet well. I think it'll work out well.”

It remains to be seen when the former teammates will both be suited up in the same NBA game. There is no timetable set for Simmons’ return. The Sixers face the Trail Blazers for their second and final meeting of the regular season on March 9 in Portland. 

“It's cool for both of us to be making the best of our opportunity,” Quarterman said.