Nets Step Up Against 76ers Behind Standout Performances

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Final: 01/07/2021

W 122 109

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Screenshot via YES Network

The Nets are having fun. Can you feel it? 

Despite the absences of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn snapped the 76ers’ five-game winning streak with a 122-109 home victory on Thursday. The win brings the Nets to 5-4 on the season.

It’s got to be the jerseys, right?

The Nets threw it back to the 90s with their Hardwood Classic jerseys and court design, and they lived up to the threads. Brooklyn out-worked the 76ers inside and steadily improved from distance to hand Philly just their second loss of the season. 

With the 76ers on the second half of a back-to-back, the Nets took the opportunity to get off to another hot start. Brooklyn led by as many as 12 points in the first quarter and extended that to 18, leading by double digits throughout the fourth quarter. 

Philly made a run during the second quarter and later threatened to take momentum at the end of the third, but the Nets had answers thanks to their activity on defense. Brooklyn scored 35 points off the 76ers’ season-high 20 turnovers and tallied 11 steals on the night.

The Nets’ offense cooled down spanning the first and second quarters, but Joe Harris’ presence provided an immediate boost. Harris went on a personal 10-2 run near the end of the second half to give the Nets the lead again and later made some big shots at the end of the third quarter to keep the 76ers at bay.

Caris LeVert was responsible for the early aggression in another team effort, while Jarrett Allen was stellar again and out-dueled Joel Embiid. Taurean Prince and Jeff Green also stepped up in the starting lineup with a combined 27 points. Oh, and Harris had 28 points, just shy of his career-high 30.

If anything, the Nets’ biggest weakness was their free-throw shooting, making 19 of 29 shots (65.5%). They did outrebound the Sixers, though, 58-53, and kept down their turnovers to 12.

Embiid and Ben Simmons were largely quiet throughout the night, though Embiid picked it up late, combining for 31 points. Shake Milton had 24 points to lead Philly, but the team missed Seth Curry, who was out for the night.

Irving’s absence was unexpected, announced just two hours before the game as out due to personal reasons. Hopefully all is well with Irving, but the Nets showed energy and continued to fix early-season mistakes in their second straight win.

Next up, Brooklyn will finish a back-to-back on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, and Irving will remain out due to personal reasons. The “Bubble Nets” will be put to the test again, but following two standout performances, they seem up to the challenge. 

Joe Harris

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The stats: 28 PTS, 11-19 FG, 6-9 3PT, 0-2 FT, 6 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO, 30 MIN

JOEY BUCKETS! Earn that contract.

Joe Harris was rocking the headband and the swagger on Thursday in the throwback unis, and he had the green light from the moment he entered the game. Coming off the bench for the second straight matchup, Harris had a slow start but came up big for the Nets in several key instances — including a 10-2 personal run in the second quarter.

Joe was automatic from three once the second half hit, and his production helped mask what was lost without Kyrie and KD. He fell short of his career-high, but from his hustle and all-around impact, this may have been the best game of Joe’s NBA career.

Mr. Reliable, indeed.  

Caris LeVert

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The stats: 22 PTS, 9-25 FG, 0-5 3PT, 4-10 FT, 7 REB, 10 AST, 2 STL, 1 TO, 32 MIN

Caris LeVert was the heartbeat of Brooklyn’s effort from the opening minutes, pushing the pace against a tired 76ers team.

Caris is firmly out of his rough patch from earlier this season and looked more confident than ever against the 76ers. He could not find his deep ball and missed quite a few free throws, but Caris got the Nets off on the right foot without Kyrie playing.

The Nets do not win this game so firmly without Caris setting the tone — and the near triple-double does not hurt, either.

Jarrett Allen

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The stats: 15 PTS, 5-6 FG, 5-6 FT, 11 REB, 3 AST, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 28 MIN

Jarrett “Dominant Big Man” Allen. Get used to it, NBA.

Jarrett was able to get a bit of a break on the floor with DeAndre Jordan playing solid minutes, but he showed no fear against Joel Embiid. He started out with a quick eight rebounds in the first quarter and went on to build his offense for his third straight double-double.

Jarrett has continued to show he is taking a BIG step up this season, and he held his own against a top NBA center for the second straight game. He struggled against Embiid in the past, but it was Jarrett’s time to shine on Thursday.

Jeff Green

A-

The stats: 14 PTS, 4-7 FG, 2-5 3PT, 4-4 FT, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 29 MIN

Jeff Green did a little bit of everything in the starting lineup against the 76ers, and the Nets needed the boost on both ends.

His performance was not the loudest, but it did not have to be. Green came up clutch with his three-point shot when his teammates were cold and gave double-digit production after averaging just four points per game entering Thursday.

You can always count on the vet.

Taurean Prince

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The stats: 13 PTS, 4-8 FG, 2-4 3PM, 3-3 FT, 1 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 21 MIN

Taurean Prince was sneaky good, giving important offensive production while adding a strong defensive presence.

Prince has been largely quiet on offense this season, but he, much like Jeff Green, gave the Nets a much-needed boost. His effort helped keep Brooklyn’s double-digit lead as the 76ers tried to build momentum and was a key part of the team’s hot offensive start for a second straight game.

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