NBA Game Summary - New Jersey at Philadelphia
(Friday, April 1st)
Final Score: Philadelphia 115, New Jersey 90
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Thaddeus Young had 22 points, Elton Brand scored 21 and the Philadelphia 76ers locked up a playoff berth with a 115-90 rout of the New Jersey Nets.
"This is a great night for our group. We now know we are in the playoffs and we want to keep winning," said Sixers head coach Doug Collins.
Currently No. 6 in the Eastern Conference, there is still a chance the Sixers could climb even higher despite opening the season with a 3-13 record.
Surging at the right time, they have won three straight games and are 37-23 since those early-season troubles. Jrue Holiday added 17 points against New Jersey and Andre Iguodala scored 14.
Brandan Wright scored 15 points and Mario West added a career-high 13 to lead the Nets, who fell to 1-9 in their last 10. Brook Lopez chipped in 11 points -- the only starter to score in double figures for New Jersey in a lopsided affair at Wells Fargo Center.
The Nets never had a lead. In fact, it was never much of a game after the first quarter, when Iguodala scored 12 of his 14 points for a 29-21 Sixers lead.
New Jersey head coach Avery Johnson said he saw it coming in the team's shootaround.
"We just didn't have that look in our eyes," Johnson said. "We looked tired tonight. Our legs look tired. We're not that happy tonight with our effort."
Iguodala was 5-for-6 in the first quarter, including 2-for-3 on three- pointers, and the Sixers led by as many as 14 when a Young layup made it 26-12.
Although he scored just two more points the rest of the way -- he sat for the entire fourth quarter -- Iguodala tied Holiday for the team-high with seven assists .
"He's one of the most unselfish players I have ever been around," said Collins.
The Sixers carried a 17-point lead into halftime, 60-43, and led by as many as 29 points in a lopsided 34-22 third quarter that put the game out of reach.
The lead ballooned as high as 35 in the fourth, with Philadelphia able to coast to its third playoff berth in four years.
"It's a great feeling. You never know it's going to happen until it happens," said Brand. "To do it at home in front of my fans is a special feeling."
Young has scored at least 20 points in three straight games and the Sixers are 11-2 when he gets that many...Brand scored 20 or more for the first time since March 4 against Minnesota...Deron Williams scored just four points for the Nets.
04/01 22:55:55 ET