Sixers win battle of the benches in regular season finale

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Philadelphia 76ers guard Shake Milton (18) scores a basket as Brooklyn Nets guard Dru Smith (9) watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 9, 2023 in New York. (AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh)

The Philadelphia 76ers traveled up to Brooklyn to face the Nets in the regular season finale. With both teams already locking up their playoff position and set to coincidentally face each other in the first round, neither team played a starter save for one brief exception.

Nets’ star forward Mikal Bridges had the opportunity to join rare company as the 42nd player in the history of the NBA to play 83 regular season games. Playing just four seconds, Bridges fouled Shake Milton and would be subbed out of the rest of the game. This is a trend that will certainly be seen more frequently with the new requirement for games played to qualify for the regular season awards.

After Bridges subbed out, the battle of the benches was set to commence.

Sixers standouts

Philadelphia 76ers, Louis King (AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh)

There were a few standouts in this afternoon’s game, from Shake Milton to Paul Reed, but two of the most exciting performances came from the Sixers’ two-way contract players, Louis King, and Mac McClung.

In his first taste of NBA action this season, Louis King burst out of the gate with a highly-efficient 20-point effort. Shooting 61.5% from the floor and 50% from three, he was a major part of the team’s offensive onslaught against Brooklyn.

King has spent most of his season with the Delaware Bluecoats, where he and the team recently won the 2023 G League Finals. Hopefully, for King, this performance has helped convince the Sixers to bring him next season.

Along with King was 2023 NBA dunk champion and fellow G League Champion Mac McClung, who also tallied 20 points. Along with those points came nine rebounds and nine assists, and a team-high +29.

It’s been an impressive season for McClung, and it’s tough to ask for any better send-off for the young guard who continues to carve out a spot for himself in the NBA.

The Sixers will now enjoy a week-long break as they prepare to face the Nets yet again, but this time in the 2023 NBA playoffs.