Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have recorded double-doubles and Robert Covington has hit a three-pointer in the final minute to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 120-116 NBA win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Embiid finished 24 points and 19 rebounds on Friday and Australian rookie Simmons added 21 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds for the Sixers, who began the night in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Barring a complete collapse, Philadelphia appear headed back to the play-offs for the first time since the 2011/12 season.
The 76ers had trouble putting away the struggling Nets on Friday, though.
Caris LeVert gave the Nets a 115-113 lead with 1:16 to play. Covington answered with a three-pointer on the Sixers’ next possession and TJ McConnell hit a pair of free throws to put Philadelphia in front 118-115 with 19 seconds to play.
Spencer Dinwiddie missed a potential tying three-pointer for the Nets and Embiid sealed the win with a pair of free throws.
Simmons’ double-double came after his 66th game for the Sixers on Thursday, when he joined Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson as the only NBA rookies to reach 1000 points, 500 assists and 500 rebounds.
In other NBA games on Friday, a shorthanded Boston Celtics beat Orlando Magic 92-83, the Toronto Raptors downed the Dallas Mavericks 122-115 and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the LA Clippers 121-113.
And in the day’s late games, Sacramento beat the injury-hit Golden State Warriors 98-93 and Goran Dragic scored in the dying seconds to lift the Miami Heat to a 92-91 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.