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Tobias Harris delivers knockout punch as Nets fail to execute in the 4th, 117-106

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Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

As Chris Shearn said during the halftime show, this game was like Rocky and Apollo throwing haymakers in the ring. Only, the Nets were Apollo in this situation, taking punch-after-punch in the final round of play.

It was a close game up until the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Jarrett Allen scored on a layup and gave the Nets a 103-102 lead with 4:55 left in the game. And that was it. They scored one field goal, a Spencer Dinwiddie layup, the rest of the way.

Philadelphia took Brooklyn’s vulnerabilities and knocked them out with a 14-2 run to close out the game, nine of the 14 coming from Tobias Harris. He hit the dagger to put Philly up nine with 50.6 seconds, finishing his night with 34 points and 10 rebounds.

Final: 76ers 117, Nets 106.

The Nets have now lost two straight with an extremely tough five-game stretch lying ahead. This was a game they could’ve had, one they should’ve had. But they simply couldn’t close out. And now, they’re 18-22.

The struggles varied: The shot selection was questionable, they turned the ball over 13 times and missed 12 free throws on the night. Philadelphia played without Joel Embiid and still managed to beat the Nets by double digits.

Brooklyn led by three at half behind the lead of Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert. The three combined for 32 points; the Nets with 57 points on 8-of-14 from three at that point.

They shot 3-of-16 from three in the second half and scored 16 points in the fourth quarter.

Dinwiddie finished the night with 26 points and eight assists, while Allen notched a double double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Joe Harris moved into fourth place in Nets history in 3-pointers made, but he shot just 2-of-9 from the field.

Furthermore, Kyrie Irving was off all night. He shot 6-of-21 from the field, committed two turnovers and was a minus-29 in 37 minutes! It felt like everybody was waiting for him to go off, but he never did.

The Nets led by as many as seven in the third quarter. Philadelphia answered with a mini 6-0 run after Taurean Prince carelessly turned the ball over on an inbound play. Ian Eagle uttered the words: “Things are going in the wrong direction.”

Yup.

To add injury to insult, DeAndre Jordan dislocated his middle finger in the second quarter. He’ll be examined Thursday in Brooklyn. At this point, they simply don’t have the depth in the frontcourt to lose him or Allen. Nicolas Claxton was playing for Long Island, and you have to assume he’ll be getting some time going forward. After him, Rodions Kurucs is Brooklyn’s tallest player at 6’10”.

Want more? The 76ers played “Where Brooklyn At?” as time winded down late in the game. An epic troll job for an epic collapse.

Just remember, there was a second fight between Rocky and Apollo. These two will meet again in Brooklyn on Monday. It’s possible they could have Embiid back by then.

Let’s see if the Nets can change the script on being Apollo, though.

ROSTER MOVES

Mike Scotto reported that Justin Anderson, the swingman signed to a 10-day earlier in the month, has been released.

He and Adrian Wojnarowski then reported that the Nets were filling the 10-day spot with Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot who had been on a two-way deal.

Three days ago, Keith Smith of RealGM said he had hearing that the Nets wanted flexibility and that they would give TLC the 10-day,

Bottom line ...

MORE FROM JOE TSAI ON LUXURY TAX (VIA YES NETWORK)

Here’s some excerpts...

ON SITTING COURTSIDE:

“I just like to be at the courtside. because you really appreciate how hard these guys work. the physicality, the athleticism really coems through when you’re at courtside. The fans see me. I think that’s a good thing they see that the owner is engaged in what they do. It’s all positive.”

ON SEAN MARKS ... AND PATIENCE:

“Sean and I have a great relationship. Sean and I have in fact built up mutual trust over the last two years when I was just a partial owner of the team. So i think there’s a lot of transparency in how we deal with each other. He’s not afraid to be very open and share with me his thoughts. I’m afraid to tell him what I think...

“I think long-term patience is really important.”

ON HIS WILLINGNESS TO PAY LUXURY TAX:

”We know the fans expect us to win a championship...if we pay luxury tax, so be it.”

FROM THE VAULT

Last year’s playoff series against the 76ers was the breakthrough for the Brooklyn Nets organization. It felt much closer than a five-game series and it contained everything a great playoff series should have. You know, close games, fight words, scuffles, etc.

Although it didn’t end the way the Nets wanted it to end, it was a big reason why they’re in the position they’re in today in regards to marquee free agents wanting to sign here.

Long live the 2018-2019 Nets. And always remember: “Our Process is our Progress.”

For a different perspective, head on over to Liberty Ballers, our 76ers sister site on SB Nation.

Next up: Bucks at Nets, Saturday.