Joel Embiid led the Philadelphia 76ers into the NBA Eastern Conference playoff semi-finals on Tuesday with 23 points in a 122-120 blowout against the Brooklyn Nets.
After an ill-tempered Game Four where Embiid was at the centre of a mass brawl, the Sixers ruthlessly dispatched Brooklyn to claim a 4-1 series victory at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers, who will now face the Toronto Raptors in the next round, were always in control after surging into a 17-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
They led 60-31 at half-time as Brooklyn’s challenge effectively collapsed.
Embiid was again immense for Philadelphia, hauling in 13 rebounds to go with his points tally.
Five other Philadelphia players made double figures, with Ben Simmons scoring 13 points and Tobias Harris 12. JJ Redick and James Ennis III added 11 apiece. Jonathon Simmons finished with 10 from the bench.
Brooklyn’s season ended in a disappointing fashion, with point guard D’Angelo Russell having a woeful night after a dazzling season.
Russell finished with eight points after making just three of 16 attempts from the field.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led the Brooklyn scoring with 21 points from the bench in 15 minutes on court, but by that stage the game was effectively over with the Sixers sitting on a commanding lead.
Caris LeVert finished with 18 points.