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Brooklyn’s Backcourt helps snap 4-game skid, 116-108

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Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Brooklyn’s Backcourt: Reloaded.

Behind the lead of Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell, the Brooklyn Nets (19-33) snapped their four-game losing streak with a 116-108 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night at Barclays Center. The Nets also notched their first victory against an Atlantic Division team (1-9).

“We’ve got guys with a lot of pride and they always seem to bounce back after a tough loss or a poor performance,” said Kenny Atkinson after the game.

With Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson sitting out and the Nets coming off a 16-point loss against the Knicks the previous night, somebody needed to step up.

So, Russell and Dinwiddie took control.

The two played together for the first time since Russell returned from his injury and each scored 20+ points in the same game, also for the first time this season. Dinwiddie finished with 27 points and attempted a career-high 15 free throws, while DLo chipped in 22 in 17 minutes.

It started with Russell.

Former high school teammates Russell and Ben Simmons exchanged buckets throughout the second quarter and made for an entertaining first half as fans exchanged banter, specifically Philly fans who chanted, “Trust the Process!” throughout the night.

Russell scored 17 points in the first 10 minutes of action and brought the Nets within one by the end of the half, 65-64. The 129 combined points are the most combined points tallied in a first half in a Nets game this season.

The teams went back and forth in the second half, as the Nets entered the fourth up by three. Joel Embiid, J.J. Redick, and Ben Simmons had their way with Brooklyn.

Then, it was Spencer Dinwiddie late.

Russell checked out around the eight-minute mark of the fourth and handed an eight-point lead over to Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie scored five straight and capped off a 7-0 run with a dime to Jahlil Okafor. The Nets led by 10 with 7:04 left.

As always, It came down to the end: 111-107, Nets. Two minutes left.

They closed it out without DLo. As Philly inched their way closer, Quincy Acy came up with a huge block with less than a minute left. The ball went over to the Nets and play ended with DeMarre Carroll at the line for two. He knocked down both and it turned out to be the dagger with 45 seconds left.

Acy’s block represented everything this win stood for: a collective defensive effort. They gave up just 43 points in the second half after allowing 65 in the first.

Four-game losing streak SNAPPED.

The Nets shot 51 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point land. Jarrett Allen received his second straight start and finished with a career-high tying 16 points and 12 rebounds. He is 15 for his last 16 from the field in the last three games.

Simmons (27 points), Embiid (29 points, 14 rebounds), and Redick (20 points) combined for 73 of Philly’s 108 points. As a whole, they shot 47 percent from the field, but the offense struggled when one of the three didn’t have the ball in their hands.

The Nets impressively held Embiid to 8-of-19 shooting and Dario Saric, a stretch big, to 3-of-12 shooting.

D’Angelo Russell sat the final 8:10 of the game after playing only 17 minutes. He’s on a minute restriction, but that isn’t why he stayed out.

“I was debating there do we get him in at the end of the game, but that unit out there was rolling,” said Atkinson.

He credited Russell for his ability to catch rhythm.

“I give him credit. He really pushed to play. I can’t tell you how many times he told us after the game that he’s feeling great.

“I think that’s part of catching your rhythm, you’ve got to have some failures. But again, I thought his catching was good, I thought his defense was good, just overall looks like he’s moving really well.”

TWITTER WAR

The official Twitter accounts of the Nets and 76ers engaged in a bit of a Twitter war during the game. Nets won this one, too.

As often happens, a large contingent of 76ers fans made the trek up the N.J. Turnpike Wednesday to see what a great arena looks like. With the Eagles in the Super Bowl, the Sixers official site decided to note how big a contingent they had on hand and how loyal they are to all Philly teams...

The Nets site, being more witty, more erudite, responded...

And bang!

As Steve Lichtenstein of WFAN pointed out, the putdown was well-deserved.

TRADEMARK RENEWAL?

Back in 2012, as the Nets moved to Brooklyn, they registered the phrase, “Brooklyn’s Backcourt,” to take advantage of the star power of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. There was also a rally at Borough Hall with a lot of black and white balloons.

The plan was for the Nets to use the phrase on all manner of promotional materials, even a website...

Here’s a partial list of how the trademark might be used...

Exhibitions, clinics, camps, promotions, and other basketball-related events, special events and parties; fan club services; entertainment services, namely, providing a website featuring multimedia material in the nature of television highlights, interactive television highlights, video recordings, video stream recordings, interactive video highlight selections, radio programs, radio highlights, and audio recordings in the field of basketball; providing news and information in the nature of statistics and trivia in the field of basketball; on-line non-downloadable games, namely, computer games, video games, interactive video games, action skill games, arcade games, adults’ and children’s party games, board games, puzzles, and trivia games; electronic publishing services, namely, publication of magazines, guides, newsletters, coloring books, and game schedules of others on-line through the Internet, all in the field of basketball; providing an online computer database in the field of basketball.

As well we know, that didn’t work out very well. But now with DLo and WinWiddie, maybe it’s time to rethink the strategy. The Nets still hold the trademark, Serial Number 85677895.

***

It’s only one game, but hey - we may have caught a glimpse at something special with Dinwiddie (24-years-old), Russell (21-years-old) and Allen (19-years-old) leading the team to victory. Not to mention the psychic reward for Jahlil Okafor (22-year-old)!

For a different take on the game, head on over to Liberty Ballers.