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Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers set for game with playoff implications

From NBA media reports

* Tonight on NBA TV: Cavs vs. Sixers (7 ET)

The 2017-18 NBA season has been filled with a lot of feats the Philadelphia 76ers have waited a while to accomplish. They’ve logged their first winning record and first playoff berth since 2011-12, had their first All-Star player since 2012-13 and are in the midst of their longest win streak (12 games and counting) since the 1990s.

Another long-awaited scenario is on tap for the Sixers tonight, too — a late-season game with playoff-seeding implications tied to it. Philadelphia remains in a down-to-the-wire chase for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The two teams meet tonight in Philadelphia and, as Keith Pompey of Philly.com reports, the Sixers are gearing up for a big showdown:

A No. 3 seed remains up for grabs. That’s why Friday night’s contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers is the Sixers’ biggest game in five seasons.

Even if they lose in Philly, the Cavaliers would get the third seed if they win their remaining two games, both against the Knicks — on Monday in Cleveland and Wednesday in New York. The Cavs should win both games against the woeful Knicks (27-51).

After the Cavs leave town on Friday, the Sixers take on two of the worst teams in the league — the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday in South Philly and the Hawks in Atlanta on Tuesday — and end the regular season with a home game against playoff-bound Milwaukee on Wednesday.

But Friday’s contest is one the Sixers and their fan base have been anticipating for days. The Sixers want to make a statement against the team that has won the last three conference titles.

“We have 20,000 fans, who are going to be rowdy fans for that game,” Sixers reserve center Amir Johnson said. “We definitely want to treat it as a playoff game. … So everybody needs to be locked in and on point.”

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