NBA 2021-22, Nets vs 76ers: Brooklyn Nets playing at home with only 9 members gave just enough to beat Philadelphia 76ers playing with just eight players, 114-109.
Kevin Durant extends his fabulous season with yet another double-double. He scored 34 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists nearly making a triple-double.
The host really dominated the first quarter. Taking a 14 point lead at the end. Everybody was contributing at the offensive end while defensively they were locked. They were also aided by a hyperactive defense of the Sixers. The defenders could not understand the passing by the Nets.
Kevin Durant alone scored 10 points in the 12 minutes, while Claxton rattled nine points and Thomas finished with eight points in six minutes off the bench.
Joel Embiid tried to push through with a 9-0 run in the second quarter but it also depicted a similar story. The defense was good this time but offensively they were bad. The hosts were leading by 18 points at halftime.
At halftime, the Nets were on another level as three of their players were in double figures — Durant (15), Claxton (11), and Thomas (11). They were converting 54% of their shots and 63% from behind the arc.
The third quarter saw Sixers cover some ground with a 15-5 early run. At 7:50 remaining, it was only an eight-point game in Nets favor. It would get better for the Sixers as with under six minutes to go the point difference was only six points.
The visitors outscored the hosts 31-19 in the third quarter, calling it a game still not lost. For the Sixers, Joel Embiid scored 32 points, 9 rebounds and, 6 assists.
With six points in the bank, Brooklyn entered the fourth quarter. The start was sloppy committing six turnovers in the first four minutes. Allowing Philadelphia to cut the deficit to one point (92-91) with 8:18 left.
However, the visitors could not extend the momentum. Seth Curry was the force in this comeback who finished with 29 points, and 3 of 9 from downtown to provide a one-two punch with Joel.
What was needed for Philadelphia was Tobias Harris who struggled with just 3 of 17 for 11 points, seven rebounds, and was 0 of 5 from distance.
Durant hit Harris with a patented hesi-pull up Jimbo triple, plus the foul. The four-point play was completed. After a Curry miss, Griffin, who finished with 17 points and 9 boards, drained another three. That capped a 7-0 Nets run and was pretty much the dagger.
The Sixers were outplayed, out-coached, and continue to look out of sorts. If this is all a sneaky way to drive up Ben Simmons’ trade value, it’s probably working.