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Philadelphia 76ers turn to veterans, depth to run win streak to 12 games

From NBA media reports

In toppling the Detroit Pistons last night, the Philadelphia 76ers ensured the Eastern Conference playoff lineup won’t be changing. Their win secured a playoff spot for the idle Milwaukee Bucks — a team the Sixers could still potentially face in the 2018 playoffs. Given how topsy turvy the East’s playoff chase has been, who knows who the Sixers will face when the playoffs start next week.

What is known is that Philly is the hottest team in the NBA today, having run off 12 straight wins. Even more impressive is that streak has come mostly without the services of All-Star center Joel Embiid, who suffered an eye injury on March 28 and has been out since then. His absence has allowed the Sixers’ depth to deliver, though, which is exactly what happened last night.

Jessica Camerato of NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com has more on the Sixers’ run of wins:

Six players finished the night in double digits Wednesday, including Marco Belinelli, who put up 19 points off the bench — nine of which came in the fourth quarter. And Ersan Ilyasova? The 30-year-old forward supplied 13 en route to his third double-double in his past four games.

“They’ve just added so much,” coach Brett Brown said. “None more important than the personal side of it. They’re good people.”

Thanks largely to a trio of veterans who have stepped up to fill the void, the Sixers now find themselves riding the team’s longest winning streak since the 1989-1990 campaign, and the fourth-longest streak in franchise history.

But in order to advance deep in the postseason, the Sixers will need a healthy Embiid. They know this.

“We are clearly a better team with Joel,” Brown said. “We have more potency with Joel. There is zero doubt about that. And we look forward to including an All-Star back in our lineup.”

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