It’s the second time in a week the Brooklyn Nets battled the Philadelphia 76ers. Unfortunately for Brooklyn, that equated to two losses to the Sixers in one week.
The Nets survived on the three ball for much of the first quarter, starting out shooting 5-of-7. D’Angelo Russell carried Brooklyn in the first with eight points, four rebounds and three assists.
Philly was equally impressive from behind the arc though, with JJ Redick contributing one and Justin Anderson shooting 3-of-4 from downtown. That kept things close, though a three-pointer from Spencer Dinwiddie propelled the Nets to a 33-30 lead at the end of the first.
Birthday boy Joel Embiid racked up quite a reputation in the first half, being assessed a flagrant 1 after some contact on Spencer Dinwiddie:
Embiid called for a flagrant one pic.twitter.com/mcav8UrL22
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) March 16, 2018
He was spared a second flagrant 1 early in the second quarter after catching Quincy Acy in the eye. Dante Cunningham also returned to the Nets’ locker room after his face was inadvertently hit by Embiid. Cunningham’s absence paved the way for an early second quarter appearance for Jahlil Okafor.
Despite the loss of Cunningham, the Nets began to sizzle. Caris LeVert led a 13-0 run for Brooklyn, bringing the Nets to a 46-33 advantage. Okafor, making his return to Philadelphia, also contributed six points and three rebounds in six minutes of action.
Still, the 76ers managed to bridge the gap. In the final two minutes of the first half, they outscored the Nets 10-2, capped off by two triples. This brought Philly within three at halftime, 58-55.
Both teams were relatively even in the third quarter. At one point, Philly went up by five, but the Nets quickly answered back following a timeout.
However, the Sixers outscored the Nets, 31-23, in the third. Embiid closed the period with a pull-up at the horn, pushing the Sixers to an 86-81 lead.
Keeping the game close and after a lot of game ties, the Nets finally took a 102-101 lead at the 5:27 mark of the fourth, off a Quincy Acy trey.
The remainder of the game was marked by even more ties and very slight leads. With 35.4 seconds to go, Robert Covington knocked down a triple to put Philly back on top, 116-115.
After a Nets timeout, on the next possession, Spencer Dinwiddie drove to the hole for a layup and was blocked by Embiid. Despite the replay showing Dinwiddie’s jersey was held by Justin Anderson, no whistle was blown, and Philadelphia regained possession after the ball went out of bounds.
T.J. McConnell was quickly fouled, and he hit both free throws to bring Philly to a three-point lead, 118-115. The Nets couldn’t catch any breaks after Dinwiddie missed a triple that could have tied the game, and the Sixers held on for a 120-116 victory.
D’Lo got off to a very hot start, contributing to much of the Nets’ first quarter success. Unfortunately, he cooled down for pretty much the rest of the game.
It was a rather rough slugfest for the Nets, and Rondae got his fair share of rough blows. Still, he pulled together another impressive performance, finishing as the Nets’ top scorer and notching another double-double.