The Orlando Magic sent Philadelphia to its sixth loss in eight games, dropping the 76ers behind the New York Knicks for the final playoff spot in the National Basketball Association’s Eastern Conference.
Ryan Anderson had 26 points and 16 rebounds last night as the Magic won 113-100 in Orlando, Florida.
J.J. Redick added 18 points for Orlando (36-25), which was without All-Star center Dwight Howard for the fifth straight game because of a herniated disc in his back. The Magic, who hold the sixth playoff spot in the East, have a 3-4 record this season without Howard, who is out indefinitely.
The 76ers fell to 31-29, tied with New York for the seventh-best record in the East. The Knicks hold the tiebreaker advantage by winning two of three meetings between the teams this season. The top eight teams in each conference make the NBA playoffs.
Philadelphia has six regular-season games remaining, including at home today against the Indiana Pacers before a season-ending five-game road trip. The Pacers (39-22) are in third place in the East after last night’s 111-88 rout of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Knicks also have six games left and are home tonight against the Boston Celtics (36-25), who are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. New York will play four of its final five regular-season games on the road.
The Atlanta Hawks clinched a playoff berth yesterday with a 109-87 win against the Toronto Raptors. The Hawks improved to 36-25 -- the same record as the Magic and Celtics -- and play their final five regular-season games at home.
The Phoenix Suns beat the Portland Trail Blazers 125-107 to move into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Suns climbed past the Houston Rockets, who lost their fourth straight game, 105-102 to the Denver Nuggets. Phoenix and Houston are tied with 32-29 records, a half-game ahead of the Utah Jazz (32-20). The Suns hold a tiebreaker advantage with a better record against conference opponents.
The Nuggets (34-27) jumped into the sixth playoff spot in the West, a half-game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks (34-28), who lost to the Jazz 123-121 in triple overtime.
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