76ers take 10-game win streak into matchup vs. Nets

The question of whether the Philadelphia 76ers can survive without Joel Embiid has been answered with a resounding yes as they take an NBA-best 10-game winning streak into Tuesday night’s matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.

It will be the 76ers’ third game since Embiid was lost for the immediate future with an orbital bone fracture that may keep him out the rest of the regular season, if not some or all of the playoffs.

The first game, a 101-91 win on Friday at Atlanta, went well. Their second, a 119-102 win at Charlotte, featured yet another Ben Simmons near-triple-double.

“We owe it to him to do whatever we can to let him play with his team — our team — wherever we can,” said Philadelphia coach Brett Brown, whose team will also be without Dario Saric (elbow) on Tuesday. “And we see the path to doing that is fighting like heck to get a home-court advantage. We feel like we can control our own destiny if we’re able to do that, which allows us to give ourselves a chance to re-introduce him to the team.”

In the Nets, the 76ers find a squad they’ve beaten twice in the last three weeks, finishing with 120 points in both matchups.

Brooklyn, which is coming off a 108-96 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, has gone 3-3 in its last six games, even as its defense has sometimes gone awry. The Nets (25-52) have allowed 111 or fewer points in three straight games, but that followed a stretch of four straight allowing 111 or more.

Against Detroit, Brooklyn allowed Reggie Jackson to go off for 29 points. No Nets player scored more than 15, and Brooklyn shot just 43 percent.

“I thought we didn’t have it tonight,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Whatever that it is, that energy, that juice, it wasn’t there. They were at a higher level than us in terms of their again, call it juice.

“Reggie Jackson, heck of a player, and he played really well, made some tough shots. Disappointed we gave him 13 free throws.”

Philadelphia, whose 10-game winning streak is its best in 15 years, finds itself right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, even with Embiid sidelined.

The 76ers (46-30) were a half-game behind the Cleveland Cavaliers in the race for third place and a half-game up on the Indiana Pacers.

The 76ers appear a lock for at least a top-five seed. They have already locked up their first playoff spot since 2012.

“Our goal is to make the playoffs,” Brown told reporters. “Now, seemingly, we are pretty close to doing that. Now we all get greedy and say, ‘Let’s get a home court.’ And I’m the captain of that new club. And it can only happen if we guard. And that’s the message to our team.”

Next, Philadelphia heads to Detroit on Wednesday before returning home to play Cleveland on Friday in a game with tremendous postseason implications.

Brooklyn has just four games remaining after taking on Philadelphia, with three on the road, starting Thursday with Milwaukee.