Nets falter in overtime as Embiid leads 76ers


Final: 02/20/2020

L 104 112

A game that started with a wacky first half was bound to end in a nail-biter. 

The Nets and Sixers took turns leading by 16+ in Philly on Thursday, but the game of runs ended in an overtime victory for the 76ers. Brooklyn failed to find a good look at the end of regulation and then was out-scored 9-1 in extra time.

Wells Fargo Center has been the most difficult place to play in the NBA this season, and the Nets nearly conquered it. Brooklyn countered a 1-for-11 start from the field and quick double-digit deficit with a 44-8 run of its own, growing a lead as large as 20 points in the first half. 

It was a remarkable turnaround that was spurred by the Nets’ bench, particularly DeAndre Jordan. After Jarrett Allen struggled to contain Joel Embiid, who put up a quick 11 points, Jordan helped shut him out and allowed the Nets to spark a run with his rebounding.

He brought a bit of Lob City to Philly, too.

After Brooklyn’s big run, the 76ers started to apply a slow pressure that lasted throughout the game. Philly cut the deficit to 10 before halftime on 12-2 run, then out-scored the Nets 35-26 in the third quarter to trail by one.

The 76ers always kept the distance manageable, but Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie lifted the Nets on offense. Still, Embiid could not be held back for long. He helped erase Brooklyn’s six-point lead with two minutes remaining in regulation, and the Nets had no answer. 

Brooklyn found success in being aggressive, but Philly made the Nets pay inside. The 76ers put up a 48-40 advantage in points in the paint behind Embiid’s 39 points, and he haunted the Nets at the free-throw line, draining 18 of 19 shots. 

The Nets came a long way from shooting nine percent from the field to start the game, led by drives and three-point shots, but a lack of a closer continues to pose problems. Dinwiddie dished to Wilson Chandler at the end of regulation, but he was unable to gather off the pass. The offense then became stagnant in overtime, with a Dinwiddie airball all-but icing Philly’s victory.

Embiid often gives the Nets difficulties, but Brooklyn had a third straight victory within its grasp. Instead, the Nets fell to 2-5 in overtime games this season and failed to hand Philly its third home loss of the season.

More challenges in Kyrie Irving’s absence will arise, and Brooklyn will have to work through late-game struggles once again. The rotation is all-but-set with Irving out the rest of the season, and the team will have to adjust knowing what is at its disposal from here on out. 

DeAndre Jordan


The stats: 14 PTS, 5-11 FG, 4-5 FT, 15 REB, 4 AST, 1 TO, 37 MIN

Brooklyn would not have managed a turnaround without DeAndre Jordan. 

After Embiid’s quick start, Jordan was just what the Nets needed. He gave Brooklyn a presence on the boards, including his seven (!) on the offensive glass. 

He also did this. 

Still, it was difficult for Jordan to remain at that intensity throughout the game. He cannot be the sole presence in the paint for Brooklyn each night, but as Jarrett Allen struggled against Embiid, he was needed. 

Caris LeVert


The stats: 25 PTS, 9-29 FG, 3-8 3PT, 4-5 FT, 6 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 35 MIN

At times, it seemed like Caris LeVert could get any shot to go down.

At other times, though, LeVert’s efficiency just was not there against the 76ers. It was difficult for anyone to put up a good shooting percentage after the team’s rough start, but the Nets will need more from LeVert with Irving out. 

Brooklyn will need adjustments across the board, and LeVert will have to lead the way. 

Spencer Dinwiddie


The stats: 22 PTS, 7-19 FG, 1-6 3PT, 7-10 FT, 5 REB, 8 AST, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 37 MIN

Spencer’s offensive production was a slow burn, but he found success connecting with his teammates inside. He also came up clutch in crunch time, giving the Nets a late lead.

Dinwiddie failed to follow up that possession with a bucket, though, leaving the ball with Wilson Chandler in the paint. Chandler was open, but the pass was off and left the Nets without a good shot opportunity to put the Sixers away in regulation. 

Despite his off shooting night, Dinwiddie still brought his distribution. The Nets just needed more of it down the stretch and in overtime. 

Wilson Chandler


The stats: 12 PTS, 4-10 FG, 3-6 3PT, 1-2 FT, 8 REB, 33 MIN

The duo of Wilson Chandler and Jordan turned the game around for the Nets. Chandler came up clutch on offense, with this shot putting Brooklyn ahead in the second quarter after its 16-point deficit. 

The Nets will need a more consistent showing from Chandler going forward. Thursday night was a good start. 

Joe Harris


The stats: 12 PTS, 4-8 FG, 1-5 3PT, 3-3 FT, 3 REB, 2 TO, 34 MIN

Joe Harris saw limited looks throughout the game, especially down the stretch. Brooklyn knows that Joe needs to put up more shots, and even though he struggled from three, he has to keep shooting.

Others stepped up off the bench, but the Nets need to make an effort to keep Joe more involved in each game.