In the end, it was the perfect game.
The Nets not only destroyed the Sixers by 29, but their former teammate. the one who asked to be traded at the deadline, looked positively sick, scoring just 11 points while making 3 of 17 shots. Finally, not only did Philadelphia’s famously fickle fan base end up booing their own team, but the small contingent of Nets fans who drove I-95 dominated the Wells Fargo Center, their chants of “Broook-lyn and “Where’s Harden?” heard across America on the nationally televised game show. Oh yeah, the win also made Ben Simmons smile…a lot…from the bench.
“The guys rose to the occasion, we got a second straight win, and let’s see if we can keep building,” said Steve Nash. “I think it’s great for our confidence. We’ve had such a tough time here with injuries and we’re trying to put that in place and build cohesion and understanding.
“It kind of brings everyone together and gives us confidence and trust in what we’re trying to do.”
Ultimately, Brooklyn was led by two of its new ‘Big Three’ – Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving – but also got contributions from the two players who were included in the blockbuster trade deadline move. February 10: Seth Curry and Andre Drummond.
“It was a good environment to start with, but it didn’t end that way,” Durant said, referring to how the Sixers and their fans were exhausted by the Nets’ superior play. “It wasn’t like that when we left the pitch. It was like a normal game, like I said.
“But I liked the way we approached the game and played physically and didn’t let any of those elements affect what we wanted to do. The crowd, no matter who we played against tonight, I felt like we were locked in.
KD finished with one of those “you-know-who-I-am” games, scoring 25 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to go along with seven assists. It was his 12th double-double of the season, third in four games against the Sixers. Durant finished with an effective 10-of-17 night, including 3-of-6 from deep. He also had two steals and a block and in the Battle of the MVP Candidates.
Kyrie Irving, who scored 50 goals two nights ago in Charlotte, had 22 and, like his superstar pal, had an efficient game, shooting 8 of 17 and 5 of 11 while adding five boards and four assists.
But the big surprise of the night came from Seth Curry who, along with Andre Drummond, was included in the February 10 trade for James Harden and Paul Millsap. Curry had his best game as a net with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting, including four threes. He also stole the ball five times.
“Sean (Marks) wanted me for a reason – They trust me,” Curry said after the game, adding: “We’re getting better – It’s just a regular season game, but it’s a big stepping stone for us .”.
The Nets also got double-digit games from James Johnson (16), Bruce Brown (11) and Patty Mills (10). The two Nets greats assigned to Embiid – Andre Drummond and Nic Claxton – not only did a solid job defending the 7’2” big boy who shot 5 of 17 from the floor, but scored a total of 16 points and grabbed 15 boards between them.
In fact, Curry and Drummond finished with a total of 31 points, just seven shy of Harden and Embiid combined.
The victory also destroyed the pregame narrative that fickle Philly fans would have their way with Simmons, making him miserable even if he didn’t play. They got him after he held off for most of the season, hoping to get out of the City of Brotherly Love. While the Philly boo birds treated Simmons mercilessly when he came out to shoot, when he accompanied the team to the bench before the game and when he hit a late errant pass, he and his teammates had the last laugh literally when the Nets bench rolled up. aisles of smiles.
“It was lovely. I liked it,” Irving said after the win. “It’s great for our league to be able to create so much emotion on a night like this. I had the felt like we were committed to playing aggressive defense. … When you set foot in an environment like this, we knew there would be some very intense fans there and we wanted to take advantage of that.
He added that the hatred directed at Simmons by Philly played a part in the Nets’ performance.
“It’s not an individual matter for us. We have all felt it. We are all here. If you come to Ben, you come to us,” Irving said after the game.
“Ben is safe here, he’s fine,” Irving added.
Durant told the media much the same thing.
“We consider Ben our brother…it’s hard for you to sing to Ben Simmons when you’re losing so much,” Durant said.
At one point in the first quarter, when Philadelphia fans started chanting “F*ck Ben Simmons,” Durant took to the lane and silenced the fans with a dunk. Irving then hit three straight shots.
It was a wire-to-wire victory for Brooklyn. The Nets came through the gates swinging in the first quarter. Brooklyn kept 17 of its first 26 looks for 40 points. Irving and Kevin were both absurd, posting a combined 9 of 11 from the field. Curry, enjoying his own revenge game against his former employer (and his stepfather, Doc Rivers), scored nine points. James Harden, meanwhile, had what could best be described as the opposite of a show of revenge, going just 1 of 6 in the first quarter.
From there, it all went downhill for the Sixers. They lost 21 points at halftime (72-51), then after a ridiculous third quarter, retired, heading into the fourth with a 32-point deficit. At one point, the lead jumped to 36, and Sixers fans left the building as a disgruntled group.
Durant congratulated the contingent of Nets fans who traveled by bus from the Barclays Center.
“Our fans have traveled,” KD said. “It was pretty remarkable to see Brooklyn fans because the etiquette about us is that we don’t have fans. So listen to them in a huge arena like this, fighting against another energetic crowd, like the Sixers fans. I’m starting to see it more and more. The last two years since I’ve been here. That the fans are starting to travel. We’re going to need them moving forward.”
While much of the recap will be about the Nets offense, which recorded shot splits of 56% overall and 45% from deep, the Nets defense stifled the Sixers, keeping them at 32.3% (30 of 93) while recording 13 interceptions. and 15 blocks. five by James Johnson and three each by Claxton and Drummond.
At the end of the night, the Nets were 34-33, still in eighth place in the East, but only two games over seventh where the Raptors sit with a two-game advantage over ninth and tenth. NBA game format teams.
For the Sixers, especially Harden, it was just a bad game.
“We got our [butt] kick,” Harden said after the game.
Mistakes have been made
Sixers fans were so angry at the end of the game that arena security had to pull more than one…
A Philadelphia fan who was shouting at the Nets’ Ben Simmons was pulled from his seat to leave the arena.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 11, 2022
After the game, members of the Brooklyn Brigade who cheered on their team from the stands gathered behind the Nets bench and chanted “Ben Sim-mons.”
Other important people celebrate victory
Before the match, as he weathered the storm of boos during filming, Ben Simmons stood next to fellow Aussie Patty Mills. Mills said he got Simmons back. After watching the win in Philadelphia, Simmons’ fiancée and Mills’ wife celebrated on Instagram.
With Reggie Miller calling the game, James Harden passed the Pacers sniper in all-time 3-point shooting. Harden now has 2,561, one more than Miller.
Patty Mills also hit two threes, giving her 200 for the season. He becomes the fourth Net to reach this milestone, behind only D’Angelo Russell (234), Joe Harris (211) and Allen Crabbe (201) in the annals of the Nets. He has 16 games to surpass DLo and averages around three games per game.
Called from Long Island, but not by the Nets
Tyrone Wallace, who rocked it all for the Long Island Nets, was called up by the Pelicans on Thursday, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
Free agent Tyrone Wallace plans to sign a 10-day contract with New Orleans, a source has told ESPN. He averaged 27 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists in the last 11 games with Long Island of the G League.
– Adrien Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 10, 2022
The call could be a blow to Long Island’s G League title hopes. Wallace teamed up with Craig Randall II, providing the young Nets with a strong backcourt. Wallace, 27, previously played with the Clippers and Hawks.
If his turn with New Orleans doesn’t work out, Wallace can return to Long Island which retains its G League rights.
The Nets return to Brooklyn on Sunday to face their traditional rivals, the Knicks. Kyrie Irving won’t be eligible and Ben Simmons probably won’t play either. Steve Nash said after the match that Simmons would not play 5-on-5 or participate fully in Saturday’s practice. The game is a morning affair, starting at 1 p.m.
For a different perspective on Thursday’s game, check out Liberty Ballers – our sister site covering the Sixers… but be gentle.