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Nets still jockeying for playoff position, host rival 76ers

The Brooklyn Nets will try to improve their playoff positioning on Tuesday night when they host Atlantic Division rivals, the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Nets trail the New York Knicks by six games for the Atlantic Division title. With only six games left, and the Knicks on fire at the moment, that doesn't seem to be too realistic a proposition.

But the Nets occupy the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. They are only two games ahead of the Chicago Bulls for fifth and for homecourt in the first round of the playoffs.

"We're still playing for position, there are still a lot of scenarios, most of them unlikely, but, if nothing else, you're still playing for homecourt," said interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Brooklyn has won two of its last three and Tuesday's game will end a three- game homestand. They had played eight in a row on the road, but will head back out for three straight.

On Sunday, at home, the Nets bested the Charlotte Bobcats, 105-96. Deron Williams was awesome with 32 points on 11-for-18 shooting. Brook Lopez (19), Andray Blatche (16), Joe Johnson (15) and Reggie Evans (14) also scored in double figures.

The Nets only committed nine turnovers on Sunday.

The Sixers will play the finale of a four-game road trip on Tuesday. They are 1-2 thus far with a win in Atlanta sandwiched around losses to the Bobcats and Heat.

Philly was competitive with the Heat through three quarters on Saturday, but the defending champs busted the game open in the fourth. Miami took the final period, 29-11, to win, 106-87.

"I thought we got a little tired in the fourth quarter, three games in four nights," said Sixers coach Doug Collins. "They came out, jumped us. We fought back in there. We hung around, we fought."

All-Star guard Jrue Holiday led the way with 18 points. Evan Turner was next with 14 points, followed by 11 points and 11 rebounds from Spencer Hawes, and 10 points apiece from Nick Young and Dorell Wright,

The Sixers will miss the postseason after reaching a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals one year ago.

The Nets took the first two meetings this season with Philly, but the Sixers won, 106-97, at home, on March 11. The Sixers have won seven of their last 10 on the road in this series.