The Philadelphia 76ers still hold their postseason fate in their own hands.
They’ll take another shot at clinching a spot in the playoffs when they host the Milwaukee Bucks.
Philadelphia lost 104-83 to the New Jersey Nets on Sunday for just their second defeat in eight games. The victory moved New Jersey into a tie with Cleveland for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one game behind seventh-place Philadelphia.
The loss also gave the Boston Celtics the Atlantic Division title.
However, the Sixers, who missed the playoffs last season, can clinch a postseason berth with a win in one of their final two games or with one New Jersey or Cleveland loss. The Nets and Cavaliers also have two games remaining, and New Jersey owns the tiebreaker over both Cleveland and Philadelphia.
The Sixers, who face the league-worst Atlanta Hawks in the season finale Wednesday, trailed by as many as 23 points in Sunday’s loss.
“We can’t use that excuse, as far as we were just due for a bad game,” said Allen Iverson, who scored 33 points. “We couldn’t take a bad game today. We needed our best. That’s what I thought was going to come. Unfortunately we didn’t.”
Iverson has dominated Milwaukee this season, scoring at least 40 points in each of his three matchups against the Bucks. He scored 40 against Milwaukee on Dec. 12, 54 six days later and 48 on March 1.
Guard Michael Redd did not play because of left Achilles’ tendinitis.
The Bucks, who are out of playoff contention, got some good news Saturday as point guard T.J. Ford shot baskets at the team’s training center for the first time since bruising his spinal cord nearly 14 months ago.