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.
Kyrie Irving played 37 minutes tonight and 32 minutes last night. I think it's key they find a balance in regards to being overcautious, but I don't think I've ever seen the Nets handle an injury this way.— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) January 16, 2020
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.”
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.
Philly trolled the Nets by playing “Where Brooklyn at” as time expires.— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) January 16, 2020
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.
Mike Scotto reported that Justin Anderson, the swingman signed to a 10-day earlier in the month, has been released.
Source: The Brooklyn Nets are releasing Justin Anderson.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) January 16, 2020
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,
Brooklyn will continue to evaluate all their options, as they look to fill out the roster for a playoff push. There is a chance TLC could be signed to a 10 Day contract initially, as the Nets front office works up to the trade deadline. https://t.co/lZoLY0Eu8H— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 12, 2020
Bottom line ...
So after all that, here’s where things stand: the Nets have a bit more flexibility with Luwawu-Cabarrot and with the roster as they approach the trade deadline. They have 14 roster players, a 10-day in @timcabs; and two two-ways in @Chiozza11 and @4k_Jeremiah— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) January 16, 2020
MORE FROM JOE TSAI ON LUXURY TAX (VIA YES NETWORK)
Nets governor Joe Tsai has a simple message to fans about expectations: "We know the fans expect us to win a championship...if we pay luxury tax, so be it."— YES Network (@YESNetwork) January 15, 2020
Watch #NETSonYES live: https://t.co/APxZluIvsj pic.twitter.com/ciTB1bTHul
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.
- Box Score: Philadelphia 76ers 117, Brooklyn Nets 106 - NBA.com
- Recap: Philadelphia 76ers 117, Brooklyn Nets 106 (Video) - NBA.com
- Post-Game Plus: Nets fall to 76ers, 117-106 (Video) - Chris Shearn - YES Network
- Kustok on Nets’ tough loss (Video) - Sarah Kustok - YES Network
- Atkinson on Loss to 76ers (Video) - YES Network
- Irving on road loss (Video) - YES Network
- Wear Brooklyn At? (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson on matchup with 76ers (Video) - YES Network
- Harris scores 34, leads Sixers past Nets 117-106 - Kevin Cooney - AP
- Harris hauls Sixers past Nets - Reuters
- Nets blow fourth-quarter lead in loss to Joel Embiid-less 76ers - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kyrie Irving: Nets have ‘glaring’ needs — even with Kevin Durant - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets’ DeAndre Jordan forced to exit game with injured finger - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kyrie Irving knows the Nets need upgrades beyond Durant: “It’s pretty glaring we need one more piece or two more pieces.” - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Kyrie Irving says team’s needs ‘glaring’ after Nets fall to 76ers - Tim Bontemps - ESPN
- Nets’ three-guard lineup doesn’t deliver - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Brown says LI’s Harris has grown his game since joining 76ers - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nets mailbag: Lineup changes, Spencer Dinwiddie’s All-Star chances, trade deadline action and more - Alex Shiffer - The Athletic New York
- SIXERS 117, NETS 106: BROOKLYN FADES IN FOURTH IN LOSS TO PHILADELPHIA - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- NETS VS. SIXERS: KYRIE IRVING, CARIS LEVERT, AND KENNY ATKINSON TOP QUOTES - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Sixers get a much-needed victory over the Brooklyn Nets - Keith Pompey - Philadelphia Inquirer