Joel Embiid had 39 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists to lead the host Philadelphia 76ers to a 123-110 victory against the Nets on Thursday night.
J J Redick scored 18 points and Ben Simmons had 16 points and 8 assists for the 76ers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
The game matched teams that would have met in the first round of the N.B.A. playoffs had the postseason begun before Thursday’s games. The 76ers have a strong hold on the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with seven games remaining, and they moved three games ahead of idle Indiana.
Joe Harris scored 22 points and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 19 for the Nets, who fell to seventh place in the East, a half-game behind Detroit, which defeated Orlando. The Nets are a half-game in front of Miami, which beat Dallas, and only one ahead of the ninth-place Magic.
The Nets, who are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season, finished a grueling seven-game trip 2-5. And it does not get easier for them.
Their remaining six games includes contests against Boston, Toronto, Indiana and Miami, and two against Milwaukee.
“We have to recharge our batteries,” Nets Coach Kenny Atkinson said, adding: “We have to somehow get that juice back. We lacked a little juice tonight.”
Philadelphia surged to an early lead and never let go. The 76ers, who made eight of their first 10 3-point attempts, led by as many as 20 points in the first half before settling for a 68-58 lead at the break.
The Nets closed to 71-65 and had a chance to make it a 4-point game with Rodions Kurucs at the line for two free throws 2 minutes 42 seconds into the third quarter. But Kurucs missed both foul shots, and Philadelphia ran off 10 straight to take a 15-point lead.
Embiid did his damage inside and outside. He scored 14 of Philadelphia’s first 19 points while making five of seven shots, including all three of his 3-point attempts.
The teams received a combined four technical fouls. Three of them came in the first half, all from the referee Scott Foster for arguing calls.
For Philadelphia, Embiid and Jimmy Butler were whistled, and D’Angelo Russell received one for the Nets. Simmons was called for a technical in the second half for dissent.
RAPTORS 117, KNICKS 92 Pascal Siakam scored 31 points and Toronto routed the host Knicks for the second time in 11 nights.
The Raptors rested Kawhi Leonard, just as it did in its 128-92 victory at home on March 18, and the result was nearly as lopsided. Toronto led by as many as 31 points, never trailed and was ahead by at least 15 for the entire second half in beating the Knicks for the sixth straight time.
The rookie Mitchell Robinson had season highs of 19 points and 21 rebounds for the Knicks, who lost their fifth straight and fell to 1-13 over the last month.
“Everybody wants to win. We don’t play to lose,” guard Emmanuel Mudiay said. “So you get frustrated with the losing, but you’ve got to stick with the positives.”
Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. returned after a six-game absence with a sore lower back, coming off the bench and scoring 7 points. Kevin Knox started after leaving Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers with an ankle injury and had 9 points, but Frank Ntilikina remained out after reinjuring his groin in that game.