CLEVELAND - For those checking the standings, the 76ers picked up a victory last night.
For those watching the game, there was nothing victorious about it.
The 111-110 overtime victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers' second unit at Quicken Loans Arena was as hollow as a basketball.
"I'm disappointed in how we're playing," said Andre Iguodala, shaking his head. "It wasn't in good fashion."
Even with the win that snapped their six-game losing streak, the Sixers finished the regular season with less momentum than a broken-down car and enter the playoffs with expectations just as stalled.
The victory, coupled with a Chicago Bulls loss, earned the Sixers the Eastern Conference's sixth seed. They will play the third-seeded Orlando Magic in a first-round playoff series beginning Saturday or Sunday. The NBA playoff schedule was released early this morning after last night's West Coast games.
The Magic swept the three-game season series with the Sixers, who finished the regular season 41-41, good for a one-win improvement over last season.
"We have to look in the mirror and say, 'Are we satisfied we're in the playoffs?' " said Iguodala, who finished with 24 points.
The top-seeded Cavaliers finished with an NBA-best record of 66-16 but passed on a chance to tie the 1985-86 Boston Celtics for the best home record in league history. Those Celtics finished 40-1 at the Boston Garden; these Cavaliers finished 39-2 at Quicken Loans Arena.
Cleveland superstar LeBron James was kicking it on the sideline, wearing jeans and unlaced white sneakers. Sitting next to James were starters Mo Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Next to them was reserve forward Joe Smith. All rested.
Delonte West and Anderson Varejao, the Cavs' other two big names, played limited minutes.
Although last night looked like a Cavs victory for much of the game, it looked like a Sixers win down the stretch.
At the end of regulation, all the Sixers needed was to defend the three-point line for 4.4 seconds. But the task of closing the perimeter gaps has eluded the Sixers all season. It eluded them again.
The Cavs' Daniel Gibson slipped through a double team like sliding into an elevator, then sent the game to overtime with a long three from the top of the key.
"Guys have been making shots on us all year," said point guard Andre Miller.
Overtime was similarly back-and-forth. When the Sixers finally opened a four-point lead with 1 minute, 39 seconds remaining, the Cavs hit a three. When they pushed it back to three, the Cavs hit a couple of free throws.
Then Miller missed two foul shots with 4.3 seconds left.
The Cavs had one last chance, but Gibson lost his dribble as the clock expired.
Miller finished with a game-high 30 points. Gibson, who came in averaging 7.5 points a game, scored 28.
Is it worrisome, the Sixers' inability to dominate another team's second string?
"Yeah, that's a major problem, you know?" Iguodala said.