It was almost the same situation as the one in Barclays Center two and a half weeks ago – the Nets held a hefty lead in the fourth quarter only to let the Sixers catch up. Only this time, Brooklyn was able to hold on for the victory in Philadelphia, 127-124.
Fortunately for the Nets, the man who hit the game-winning shot to complete Philadelphia’s comeback last time, Jimmy Butler, sat out with a groin injury. Having some trouble acclimating to Butler in the lineup, Joel Embiid would take over this game in Butler’s absence, scoring 33 points and corralling 17 total rebounds on the night.
Spencer Dinwiddie hung a career-high 39 points, following up his 25 points against the Knicks last week. Sean Marks has to be thinking long and hard about offering Dinwiddie a contract extension, especially if the backup point guard continues to have strong performances.
Another Net that turned some heads was rookie, Rodions Kurucs, who had 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting, and a whole lot of effort in 19 minutes. If Kurucs can be a versatile forward for the Nets, he could prove to be a second-round steal in this past year’s draft.
After losing eight consecutive games, the Nets have turned things around as of late, picking up a huge win against the Toronto Raptors at home, beating the Knicks in Madison Square Garden, and making a statement in today’s win. It was important for the Nets to be able to seal the deal against the Sixers, given their difficulty of closing games since losing Caris LeVert.
The Nets showed improvement by coming out of halftime strong, outscoring the Sixers, 37-28 in the third quarter. Rather than taking their time getting back into the game, the Nets took the neck-and-neck contest and ran with it, going on a run and holding a double-digit lead at one point.
The Sixers refused to give up however, cutting the lead down to 3 in the final seconds of regulation. After seeing their lead get whittled down and turning the ball over a number of times, the Nets kept their composure in the last possession and let the clock run out to take home the W.
Stringing together three games in a row, the Nets are two games behind the eighth seed, which belongs to the Orlando Magic. The eight-game losing streak had to be tough on team morale, but all signs point to the Nets trying to stay competitive while they wait for LeVert to come back.
The Nets have the opportunity to get a win over the team that’s one spot ahead of them in the conference, the Washington Wizards, on Friday.