By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high after beating the Chicago Bulls on Monday night. They faced a game Brooklyn Nets team who were fighting for their playoff lives and looking to send a message to Philly. They used an offensive explosion in the first quarter to beat Philly down 129-100.
The Brooklyn Nets jumped on the Sixers from the opening tip-off. They played like a team that needed this game to the playoffs. They made their shots early on and hung 40-points on the Sixers by the end of the first quarter. Kevin Durant (25-points) and Kyrie Irving (24-points) led them they combined for 49 of the Nets 128-points. Philly had no answers for either one of them. They were both hitting their shots and it did not matter if there was a hand in their face or not. They answered the call in this game and got their teammates involved.
On what happened tonight, “We succumbed to their physicality tonight. When you see guys running through dribble-handoffs, that’s a problem. That should never happen. And I’m going to say nine times that happened tonight. That’s something we’ll look at the film and fix,” said 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
Despite the offensive explosion from Durant and Irving the game was in reach for Philly. They just could not hit their shots tonight, and it affected them on both sides of the floor. They gave up way too many easy shots to the Nets especially on the fast break. Nobody but Joel Embiid showed up tonight. He scored 27-points and grabbed 12-rebounds. Embiid got whatever he wanted from the field early on. The Nets made some adjustments to stop him and force someone else to beat them. His teammates were not able to give Embiid any help tonight. Philly only made 29% of their shots from the field. James Harden struggled mightily tonight. He only scored 11-points and hit 3/17 shots. It is only one game but Philly will have to find a way to get more consistent play from their role players especially if they see the Nets again in the playoffs.
On what the team can take away from tonight’s loss, “Tonight was good for us.. we got our ass kicked…. We get an opportunity to watch film and come out better,” said Harden.
Philly will now prepare for the Orlando Magic on Sunday night. They will need another balanced scoring night. Additionally, they will need to play better perimeter defense if they want to stop the Magic’s backcourt and get their 41st win of the season.