The Philadelphia 76ers are looking more and more like a serious contender in the Eastern Conference, as their winning ways continue, even without star Joel Embiid. The Sixers set a franchise record with their 15th straight win, 121-113, over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. JJ Redick had 28 points to lead the Sixers, who have a one-game lead on the Cleveland Cavaliers for the three-seed in the Eastern Conference. Rookie of the Year favorite, Ben Simmons, played despite missing shootaround with the stomach flu. He still put up 13 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists before fouling out with seven seconds left in the game. While he dealt with his ailment, his teammates stepped up for him, including Ersan Ilyasova haunting his former team with 26 points, while Marco Belinelli added 20 against his former club. Redick's big night was led by his 6-of-9 shooting from three-point range, as Philadelphia finished 17-for-37 from beyond the arc as a team. The Hawks were led by Taurean Prince's 27 points, as they finished the regular season with a record of 24-58, which is their worst mark since the 2005 season. The Sixers, coming off a tough 10-72 season just two years ago, can clinch the three-seed with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks at home in Wednesday's regular season finale.
Jazz Rout Warriors For Second Time
The Utah Jazz are another team that have come out of nowhere to look like a serious threat in postseason play. They also seem to have the Golden State Warriors' number, as they blew them out for a second time this season, 119-79, on Tuesday night. Donovan Mitchell had 22 points, while setting the NBA rookie record for three-pointers in a season. He finished 4-for-6 from three-point range, and now has 186 three-pointers on the season, which breaks the rookie record that was held by Portland Trail Blazers' star, Damian Lillard. Other contributors on Tuesday included Derrick Favors' 16 points and nine rebounds and Jonas Jerbko's 14 points, while Ricky Rubio and Rudy Gobert finished with 13 points apiece. The Jazz shot 53 percent as a team in what was their sixth straight win, finishing with a 3-1 record in the season series with Golden State. The Warriors on the other hand shot 35 percent and never led on the night. Klay Thompson had 23 points, while Kevin Durant added 13 for the defending champs, who end the season at 58-24 as the two seed in the West. Although, they did finished their season with the largest margin of defeat under head coach Steve Kerr. The Jazz are now tied with the Trail Blazers, whom they will battle in Wednesday's regular season finale for the three-seed in the Western Conference.
Red Sox Slam Yankees in First Matchup
The Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees rivalry was renewed on Tuesday night with the first matchup of the season between the two clubs. Although, it was nowhere near the close intensity that we're use to, thanks to the slugging Boston Red Sox. Mookie Betts had a grand slam to add to the comfortable run support that ace Chris Sale received in a 14-1 rout for the Red Sox over the Yankees. Betts ended the night at 4-for-4 with those four runs batted in, leading the Red Sox to their ninth straight win after a season-opening loss. The outfielder's third career grand slam capped off a nine-run sixth inning, which pulled Boston ahead for good. Betts joined Ken Griffey Jr. as the only players with four hits, five runs scored, and four RBI in a game against the Yankees. It made it much better that he did this as a member of the Red Sox. Sale got the win after going six innings, allowing just one run on eight hits and struck out eight. Hanley Ramirez also added to the support with three RBI, while Andrew Benintendi added a two-run triple. Luis Severino suffered the loss for the Yankees after surrendering five runs on eight hits over five innings. Giancarlo Stanton's struggles continued as he struck out his first two times up, and now has 22 strikeouts in 46 at-bats this year. He ended the night 2-for-4. The Yankees and Red Sox will play games two and three on Wednesday and Thursday, as both can be seen on MLB Network.