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PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia flexed its offensive muscle from the opening tip to beat the Brooklyn Nets 122-100 on Tuesday night and closed out their NBA Eastern Conference first-round series in five games.

Up next, a second-round series against the Toronto Raptors, who dropped their playoff opener before winning four consecutive against Orlando -- the same thing the Sixers did to Brooklyn.

"We still have more to do. A lot more to do," 76ers Coach Brett Brown said.

Joel Embiid had 23 points and 13 rebounds for Philadelphia. Ben Simmons had 13 points and no starter played more than 27 minutes Tuesday.

Any late arrivals missed the defining moments of the game from a Sixers team that enjoyed toying with the Nets.

The Sixers stunned the Nets with a 14-0 run to open the game.

Embiid again shook off a bad left knee and had six points and five rebounds in the first two minutes. The Nets later trailed 20-2, and Simmons put an exclamation point on the first quarter when he drove the paint and used a right-handed jam to make it 32-12.

"They did whatever they wanted before we could even get on the board," Nets All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell said.

Embiid buried a three-pointer from the top of the arc that made it 41-17.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 21 points for the Nets, who head into the offseason after their first playoff series since 2015.

"We never made a push back," Nets Coach Kenny Atkinson said. "I'm surprised we didn't come out with more grit, more fight."

General Manager Elton Brand is as much to credit for the Sixers' success as anyone, using his rookie season as GM to orchestrate trades for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris that kept Philadelphia humming along in a 51-victory season. But even before the trades, the Sixers were expected to make it this far in the playoffs. They did last season and were knocked out by Boston in the East semifinals in five games. The midseason trades for Harris and Butler were expected to push the Sixers to at least the conference final. Brown has said the goal is to play in the NBA Finals.

"They're going for big things. They can compete for a championship, quite honestly," Atkinson said.

NUGGETS 108, SPURS 90

DENVER -- Jamal Murray's 23 points led six Nuggets in double figures and Denver routed the San Antonio Spurs to move within one victory of their first playoff series triumph in a decade.

Up 3 games to 2, the Nuggets can wrap up the series Thursday night in San Antonio, where they won last weekend for the first time since 2012, regaining the home-court advantage.

The Nuggets, who posted the best home record in the NBA and ended a six-year playoff drought by earning a surprising second seed in the Western Conference playoffs, finally looked like the team that rolled through the regular season led by All-Star Nikola Jokic and backed up by the best bench in the league.

Jokic had 16 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists and Denver led by as many 30 points at 99-69, after which their starters took a seat.

Paul Millsap chipped in 14 points as the Nuggets' most experienced player in the playoffs bounced back from a 4-point performance in Game 4 that ended his streak of 16 consecutive playoff games with double digit scoring.

DeMar DeRozen and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 17 for San Antonio, but Denver dominated this one almost from the tip.

The Nuggets fell behind 7-2 but thanks to a 14-2 spurt led 26-19 after one quarter.

The Nuggets used a 13-3 run in the second half to take an 11-point lead into the locker room at 53-42, and they raced out to a 65-44 lead less than six minutes into the second half on the strength of a 12-2 spurt coming out of the halftime break.

Their lead ballooned to 30 points on Malik Beasley's bucket that made it 99-69.

Photo by AP/CHRIS SZAGOLA
Point guard Ben Simmons (left) and power forward Joel Embiid combined to score 36 points Tuesday, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 122-100 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in Philadelphia.

Sports on 04/24/2019

Print Headline: Philly takes down Brooklyn, advances to second round

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