(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia 76ers know who their opponent will be in the first round of the playoffs and look to prep for the postseason with a home tilt versus the Detroit Pistons tonight at Wells Fargo Center.
The 76ers were the lucky ones to pull LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the best-of-seven first round series, as they will represent the Eastern Conference's seventh seed against the No. 2 Heat.
Philadelphia captured its third playoff berth in four years under first-year head coach Doug Collins, but has dropped four of five games, including Monday's 95-85 loss to Orlando. After Jrue Holiday gave the Sixers a short- lived 54-52 lead, Orlando went on a 21-4 run to take the lead for good. Elton Brand paced the Sixers with 22 points, while Holiday added 15 to go with 11 assists in the loss.
Collins' squad was outrebounded by a 56-31 margin and watched the Magic drain 11 of their 25 three-point attempts. Philly native Jameer Nelson hit 5-of-8 from beyond the arc for Orlando.
"Rebounding and three-point shooting, that was the killer," Sixers head coach Doug Collins said. "They were just more aggressive than us."
Andres Nocioni had 13 points off the bench for the 76ers, who are 1-2 on a season ending four-game homestand and 26-14 in the City of Brotherly Love. Sixers guard/forward Andre Iguodala missed the Magic game with right knee tendinitis and is questionable versus the Pistons.
Detroit is out of the playoffs for the first time since the 2000-01 season -- a stretch of eight straight appearances -- and had a three-game winning streak stopped with Monday's 110-101 home loss versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rodney Stuckey poured in 29 points and handed out 14 assists, while Chris Wilcox finished with 16 points for the Pistons, who have dropped five of eight games and shot 51.4 percent for the game. Richard Hamilton ended with 13 points and rookie Greg Monroe added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The story of the game was a skirmish between Detroit forward Charlie Villanueva and Cleveland center Ryan Hollins. With 5:47 to play in the fourth, Villanueva and Hollins got together and traded words. A few headlocks were exchanged before the two players were broken up.
Things got a bit interesting after both players were ejected. Villanueva started to run off the court and tried to make his way toward Hollins, who was standing near the Cavs' bench. Villanueva was restrained and escorted to the locker room, while Hollins was taken to the locker room a few minutes later. Police officers were sent to the locker room area to prevent any further activity.
"You just don't want it to escalate like that," Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson said. "There were a lot of expletives exchanged that I don't think I can repeat, but that stuff happens when your competitive nature kicks in and you just hope it doesn't go as far as it did."
It's unlikely Villanueva will be in tonight's lineup. The Pistons are only 8-32 away from The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The 2010-11 series between Detroit and Philadelphia is tied at a game apiece, while the Pistons have won four of the past six matchups between the teams.
Detroit has won seven of its last 10 contests in south Philly.