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Brooklyn Nets dodge tanking 76ers with 94-87 victory; end five-game losing streak

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have been like tourists exploring Venice. Every time they thought they were headed in the correct direction, they take a turn and get lost.

It appears they found a map... at least for now.

The Nets won four of six games prior to losing five straight heading into their matchup with Philadelphia, Saturday night. The losing streak did it's damage by putting the Nets 3.5 games out of the eighth seed, but the guys in black were able to stop the bleeding and halt the streak with a 94-87 victory over the lowly 76ers.

It wasn't exactly pretty in the first half, but as Deron Williams said prior to tip-off, "A win is a win" when referring to Brooklyn's five-game losing streak.

They trailed the Sixers by five at the half, but tightened up their defense and dominated in the second half, holding Philly to just 10 points in the third quarter and 31 total in the half. The 10 points allowed matched the fewest points Brooklyn has allowed in any quarter this season.

Following the third quarter, the Nets grabbed an eight-point lead but failed to seal the deal in the fourth. Things got a little closer than they needed to be as Philly cut the deficit down to two with 3:35 remaining. The Nets answered with a quick 6-0 run to go up eight with 1:19 remaining. The dagger (appropriately) came from Thaddeus Young which notched a Nets' career-high for the newest member of the team.

In his best performance as a Net, against his former team in Philly -- Young went off for 21 points, nine rebounds, two steals and one block in 35 minutes. He seems to fit everything Lionel Hollins and the Brooklyn Nets' organization are looking for in their future acquisitions: young, athletic and tough. It'd be shocking if the Nets don't give him an offer after the season.

The Nets shot 2-of-17 from three, but held Philadelphia to 8-of-37 shooting from three and 37.2% from the field. The Nets made it up, however, after going 18-of-26 from the free throw line.

Brooklyn also forced 17-Philadelphia turnovers which generated 16 points.

Joe Johnson finally looked good with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, and Alan Anderson each chipped in 10 points apiece, while Jarrett Jack was the leading scorer off the bench with 12 points. He also attempted a team-high 16 field goal attempts.

Nerlens Noel certainly put his rookie of the year debate to full discussion with 17 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and one steal on 7-of-10 shooting. He did however commit five turnovers. The should've-could've-would've been Net, Thomas Robinson, finished with seven points and 12 rebounds in 17 minutes. Damn you, Hinkie.

"I’m very thankful for the win," Lionel Hollins said. "It’s hard to win in this league, hard to win on the road, and the way we’ve been struggling … it’s a big win."

"It was great," said Johnson. "I thought we did some things to really help ourselves, and I thought they did some things to help us, as well. They took a lot of quick shots, threes, and they missed a lot. So, fortunately for us, we were able to pull it out."

The Nets are now 1-1 on the four-game road-trip, 26-38 on the season and stand three games out of eighth place. They'll continue the road-trip with a game against Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves this Monday night.

Two busloads of season ticket holders traveled to the game, courtesy of the Nets. As one of the 76ers beat writers noted...

Oh yeah, and Sarah Kustok is now 1-0 as Nets' color commentator. Sign her up permanently!

Quarter by quarter summary:

First quarter ... The Nets looked good after posting an 18-9 score following a 9-0 run, but the 76ers finished the quarter with a 20-8 advantage and led, 29-27. Philly opened up 50% from the floor and played every available player during the first 12 minutes. They shot 4-of-9 from three.  For Brooklyn, Thaddeus Young led with eight points, but the team finished 38% from the floor and 0-of-5 from three.

Second quarter ... Alan Anderson gave the Nets a mini boost after scoring nine points on 4-of-8 shooting to go along with three rebounds and one steal. Still, the Nets couldn't get it together. Philly scored 27 points in the quarter, shot 6-of-19 from three, and grabbed seven offensive rebounds. Brooklyn was 1-of-9 from three and just 43% from the field.

Score at the half: 76ers 56, Nets 51.

Third quarter ...The Nets went on a 13-4 run late in the third quarter to extend their lead to eight. They came back right from the start. Initially they tied it up, then they grabbed the lead and eventually took control late in the quarter behind seven third-quarter points from Thaddeus Young. They outscored Philly 23-10 in the quarter and led, 74-66.

Fourth quarter ...Things got a little closer than they needed to be as Philly cut the deficit down to two with 3:35 remaining. The Nets answered with a quick 6-0 run to go up eight with 1:19 remaining. The dagger appropriately came from Thaddeus Young, which notched a Nets' career-high for the newest member of the team.

Final score: Nets 94, 76ers 87.

Hey Nets fans, with the Nets win -- you get 50% off with the promo code NETSWIN at papajohns.com

For more on the Philadelphia 76ers, check them out at Liberty Ballers.