The Philadelphia 76ers clinched the final playoff spot in the National Basketball Association’s Eastern Conference with a 105-87 win against a Nets team playing its last game in New Jersey.
Elton Brand, Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young each scored 15 points for the 76ers, who are headed to the postseason for the fourth time in five years. Philadelphia has won three games in a row after losing seven of its previous nine.
“It was good that we were able to play good basketball right when we needed to put ourselves together and get ready for the playoffs,” 76ers forward Andre Iguodala, who added 14 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, told reporters.
Philadelphia and the New York Knicks, who had already locked up a playoff berth, are tied for seventh in the conference with 34-30 records with two regular-season games left. If the teams finish with identical records, the Knicks would take the seventh spot since they won two of their three games against Philadelphia this season.
The 76ers’ victory at the Prudential Center in Newark ended the Nets’ 35-year tenure in New Jersey, as the franchise moves to Brooklyn, New York, next season. The Nets’ final regular- season game will be on the road and while some signs at the Prudential Center bid a fond farewell to the team, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wasn’t among those upset at the Nets’ departure.
“You don’t want to stay, we don’t want you,” Christie said yesterday at a news conference when asked about the Nets’ final game. “I’m not going to be in the business of begging people to stay here. They want to leave here and go to Brooklyn, good riddance, see you later.”
The Nets fell to 22-43 with the loss, including a 9-24 record at home this season.
The eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference will be decided between Utah and Phoenix, with the Jazz (34-30) hosting the Suns (33-31) tonight. Utah can clinch its first trip to the playoffs since 2010 with a win.
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