By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers had a prime-time match-up with the Brooklyn Nets tonight. Philly was riding a five-game winning streak and the Nets were shorthanded. However, Brooklyn was able to take advantage of some costly mistakes and a bad shooting night to beat the Sixers 122-109.
The Sixers did not have it tonight, and it was apparent early in the first quarter. They were missing high-percentage shots that were created by their ball movement. They started out 3/13 from the field. They lacked energy on both sides of the ball.
On the team’s effort, “We didn’t come to play, is what I saw,” said Head Coach Doc Rivers.
The Nets were able to take advantage of a clearly tired Philly defense and push the pace and attack the basket. When the Sixers adjusted, they were able to hit some hard shots from the perimeter. Philly did not have an answer for guard Caris LeVert and guard Joe Harris. They both combined for 50 points. Harris was the high-scorer he had 28-points and LeVert had 22-points.
Harris came off the bench and lit the Sixers up. He hit 11/19 shots tonight. He was hitting shots from the perimeter and he was able to attack the basket when he was chased from the line. He did most of his damage from the three-point line hitting 6/9 shots. He took advantage of the availability of shots without Durant and Irving on the floor.
The Sixers did not give-up though. They were able to find a spark off the bench in their second unit. Who got them back into it because of a scoring outburst from rookie guard Tyrese Maxey. Maxey was able to hit some timely shots to keep the Sixers into it and led a late run which allowed the Sixers to cut the lead to 10-points heading into the fourth quarter. Maxey scored 16-points off the bench.
He was one of the few bright spots for them on an otherwise forgettable night for the Sixers who were coming off the second game of a back-to-back stretch. They clearly showed the effect after playing the Washington Wizards last night.
The Net were able to keep the Sixers down late in the fourth quarter because they were able to force them into 20 turnovers and score 35-points off those turnovers. That and a bad shooting night for center Joel Embiid and guard/forward Ben Simmons killed them tonight.
On the overall performance tonight, “… Not ready to play basketball and you deserve to lose the game and that’s what I told them,” said Doc Rivers.
They will now head into another prime-time afternoon match-up with the Denver Nuggets on Saturday afternoon.