It did not come easily, but the Nets got their revenge against the Sixers.
Over two weeks after losing a lead to Philly and Jimmy Butler putting the nail in the coffin, the Nets rode a career-high from Spencer Dinwiddie to just keep hold of the victory. It is Brooklyn’s third straight and just the second home loss for the Sixers this season.
(It also helped that Jimmy Butler was out with his groin injury.)
But, of course, it did not come without a scare. The final minute was madness, with the Nets giving the Sixers second chances with bad passes and shooting fouls. The Sixers drained some threes to come within one possession, but the Nets made 17-of-18 free throws in the fourth quarter to stay ahead.
It was such a rush that Dinwiddie let out a “Golly, oh man!” on YES Network once the game was over as he was grasping to find the right words. He knows there will be lessons to learn from that one.
With Dinwiddie as versatile as he was, one player that was given time to shine was Rodions Kurucs. While he was a bit careless with the ball in the final minute, he was key on defense in holding down Ben Simmons and making some impressive plays throughout the game. His fearlessness is earning him minutes.
Led by Kurucs’ 13 points and Dinwiddie’s 39, Brooklyn’s bench outscored Philadelphia’s 70-31 in impressive fashion. The Nets’ bench is often the lifeblood of Brooklyn’s most meaningful runs, and that usually occurs with Dinwiddie at the helm.
Ed Davis was also a key cog off the bench, who held Joel Embiid back in the second half after he was dominant in the first. Add that to Davis’ 10 rebounds, and he is becoming a staple in Brooklyn’s success.
A 37-point third quarter really surged Brooklyn ahead, and while the fourth-quarter efficiency varies, this is the team’s third straight win, two of which against top NBA teams. With shooting numbers 50 percent or above in all three shooting categories, good things happen.
But Dinwiddie might like to end the next game without having to say, “Golly, oh man!”
The stats: 39 PTS, 11-18 FG, 4-6 3FG, 13-14 FT, 2 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 4 TO, 30 MIN
39 points in 30 minutes. Dinwiddie was the man of the night.
Dinwiddie out-scored Philadelphia’s bench on his own, and used the three ball and his confidence to do it. We know to expect double-digits off the bench from Dinwiddie, but the near-perfect performance from the line as well gave Brooklyn the boost it needed in crunch time.
His production was the most points scored by a Nets reserve since at least 1981-82, according to Nets PR.
Dinwiddie really likes playing the Sixers.
The stats: 7 PTS, 2-4 FG, 3-4 FT, 10 REB, 2 TO, 30 MIN
Ed Davis was key in shutting down Embiid in the second half, and his 10 boards off the bench are invaluable.
Davis is more than Jarrett Allen’s backup — he makes the whole team better. The Nets do not beat the Sixers without him.
The stats: 13 PTS, 4-6 FG, 1-1 3PT, 4-5 FT, 1 REB, 3 STL, 2 TO, 19 MIN
Kurucs has been fighting to get more minutes, and tonight he got them. Seeing time until the final minutes of the game, Rodi was aggressive to the basket and played solid defense against Simmons. Behind RHJ’s four steals, Rodi’s three steals popped off the stat sheet.
If he keeps playing this way, Kenny Atkinson has to keep giving him more leash, right? Nets fans would love to see that.
The stats: 6 PTS, 1-5 FG, 0-3 3FG, 4-4 FT, 7 REB, 1 AST, 1 TO, 22 MIN
DeMarre might not be making as big of a statement as others on the bench, but he is just as important. He was a team-high +19 on the game, and he does the little things that let players like Dinwiddie and Kurucs thrive.
Carroll is fitting right into his role, and it is paying off for the bench unit.