Nets' magic number is one

March, 21, 2013
3/21/13
1:59
PM ET
The Brooklyn Nets’ magic number is one, and they can clinch their first playoff berth since 2007 if the Philadelphia 76ers lose to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night, the NBA confirmed.

Here’s why:

If the Sixers (26-41) lose, the best record they could have is 40-42. That’s the same record the Nets (40-28) would have -- if they lost their last 14 games.
Assuming both teams had the same record at season’s end, the NBA’s tiebreaker rules would come into effect.

The first tiebreaker is head-to-head record. In this scenario, the Sixers would have beaten the Nets in Brooklyn on April 9 to even the season series at 2-2. Still tied.

The second tiebreaker is division record -- because both of the teams come from the Atlantic Division. The Nets (9-4) have the tiebreaker over the Sixers there, even if they were to finish 9-7, because the best Philadelphia could do is 8-8.

The Nuggets currently share the NBA’s best home record (30-3) with the Heat.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Joe Johnson
PTS AST STL MIN
16.7 3.8 1.0 34.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 8.0
AssistsD. Williams 6.8
StealsD. Williams 1.1
BlocksB. Lopez 1.6