It feels almost impossible to believe.
The Sixers hadn't had a winning 82-game season since 2005. Could've sworn one of those Doug Collins or Mo Cheeks teams at least went 42-40, right? Nope. Aside from going 35-31 in the lockout-shortened 2011-'12 season, the Sixers never went better than 41-41 (which they did twice) in the last 13 years. But now, for the first time since Marc Jackson was on the squad, the Sixers are officially a winning ballclub, clinching a plus-.500 record with their 42nd win of the season last night.
It came with a 120-108 home victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in a game that shouldn't even have been that close — 50 laps around the gym today for the benchwarmers, who couldn't hold a 27-point lead well enough in the fourth quarter to keep Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons from having to re-enter the game. Nonetheless, the W was the Sixers' sixth in a row and third straight with Embiid playing under 25 minutes, essentially earning the star big man an extra rest game in total between them.
Anyway, the first three quarters of the game were beautiful. Embiid had 18 points, six boards, three blocks and one windmill dunk. Dario Saric started the game on fire and ended with 18 points on 6 for 10 shooting. Marco Belinelli scored 17 points on six shots. And of course, Simmons exited the game with his 10th triple-double of the season in barely 25 minutes of tick. The team handed out 33 assists on 42 field goals, setting a club record with a fifth consecutive 30-plus assist game. (Should've been 34, by the way — shame on Dario for blowing Simmons' best pass of the year, then both ensuing free throws.)
So... 42-30, with only three games left on the schedule against winning teams — all at home, first coming tomorrow against the outside-looking-in Denver Nuggets. Only need to go 6-4 to tie the Sixers' best record (48-34 in '02-'03) since the AI finals team and to win more games than we did in the first three seasons of The Process combined. And only need to go 8-2 to get to JoJo's new goal of 50 Ws. Oh yeah, and only one win (or Detroit o Indiana loss) to clinch the first playoff appearance in six years. The fact that we're even talking about any of this is still hilarious.