The Philadelphia 76ers have now won 13 consecutive games, but Friday's victory topped them all for multiple reasons. After getting out to a big lead, the Sixers held off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 132-130, to leapfrog the Cavs for the three-seed in the Eastern Conference. Ben Simmons and James traded triple-doubles, with Simmons finishing with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 13 assists to power the Sixers, who are on their longest win streak in 32 years. J.J. Redick was just seven months old the last time the Sixers had won 13 in a row, and he led the way with 28 points on the night. The Sixers led by as many as 30 points in the first half, where they put up 78 points by halftime to hold a 23-point lead. James did not allow his team to give up, putting up a monster triple-double of 44 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. He shot a stellar 17-of-29 from the floor, just one night after rallying his team from a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit against the Washington Wizards at home. The Cavs came out and outscored the Sixers by 16 points in the third quarter, where James scored 21 points. Cleveland went on to outscore them by five in the final 12 minutes, but the deficit was too large for them to complete a second straight comeback. They will stay on the road Monday night to battle the New York Knicks, while the Sixers stay home to host the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
Raptors Clinch Top Seed, Set Franchise Record
The Toronto Raptors continued their record-season on Friday night by setting a franchise record with their 57th win of the season, 92-73, over the Indiana Pacers. The victory also clinched the top seed for the Raptors, who got 25 points from Serge Ibaka. The records continue to come the Raptors' way, as they also recorded their franchise-best 33rd home win of the season on Friday. It also marks the first time in franchise history that they enter the postseason as the top seed of the Eastern Conference. DeMar DeRozan contributed 12 points, while Jakob Poeltl added 10 points for the Raptors, who never trailed in their ninth consecutive home win over the Pacers. That home streak dates back to March 1st, 2013. The Pacers were coming off a big 20-point win over the Golden State Warriors the night before, but were led by Glenn Robinson II's 12 points and Trevor Booker's 11. They set a season-low in points, made field goals, and field goal percentage. That included being held under 20 points in each of the first three quarters. The Pacers look to get back on track, including a struggling Victor Oladipo, who was held to just five points in Friday's loss. They will move on to a matinee matchup with the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. The Raptors will stay home to host the Orlando Magic on Sunday.
Alvarez, Orioles Slam Yankees in Extras
Following the sluggish start for the Baltimore Orioles, maybe a trip to Yankee Stadium was exactly what they needed. They won their second straight in the Bronx on Friday night, 7-3, over the New York Yankees in 14 innings. Pedro Alvarez hit the go-ahead grand slam in the 14th inning off of reliever Jonathan Holder, bringing the Yankees back to .500 through eight games. Manny Machado added his first two home runs of the season against the injury-riddle Yankees. New York lost starter C.C. Sabathia after just four innings due to a hip injury, while Gary Sanchez limped off with leg cramps, and Brandon Drury left with migraine-type symptoms. Sabathia and Drury have both been placed on the disabled list, while Sanchez is listed as day-to-day. Tyler Wade was also taken out with flu-like symptoms, causing the Yankees to use 20 players on the day. Adam Warren was the only non-starting pitcher left on the roster. The game itself lasted five hours and 20 minutes, as both teams combined to use 14 pitchers in the marathon. Baltimore came in with just six home runs in the first seven games, but hit four of them on Friday, including Chris Davis's first long ball of the season. These two teams will wrap things up on Saturday and Sunday with a couple of matinee showdowns in the Bronx.