Nets Lose in Heartbreaking Fashion for Second Consecutive Game

Dec 18, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor (8) battles for a rebound during the second quarter of the game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor (8) battles for a rebound during the second quarter of the game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports /

107. 147. Final. 108. 93

The Brooklyn Nets lost to the Philadelphia Sixers ,107-108, at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday night.

This was the Nets second straight game on the road after a tough late game collapse against the Magic on Friday night. Jeremy Lin came off the bench once again for Brooklyn, as he is still on a strict minutes restriction.

The Nets started the game in an interesting fashion, as they gained possession of the ball off a Sixers turnover in the first few seconds.

Brook Lopez carried the Nets early on, scoring the team’s first seven points. On the other side of the ball, the Sixers big man duo of Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid dominated in the paint. Isaiah Whitehead was forced to sit early on after picking up two quick fouls, but sharpshooter Joe Harris immediately hit a three in his absence. Lopez was involved in almost every play offensively, as he dished out four straight assists following his early game scoring burst.

Net-killer Ersan Ilyasova quickly chipped in eight points off the bench for the Sixers to keep the game competitive and high-scoring in the first. The first quarter was all offense, as both teams shot over 47 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc. The Nets led 32-30 heading into the second quarter.

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Brooklyn played sloppy defense to start off the second, as they committed two fouls, including an impressive “and-one” on a Gerald Henderson jump shot.

The Nets still kept the game competitive after Rondae Hollis-Jefferson tacked on two quick buckets off the bench. This was RHJ’s first time playing a game in his birthplace since being drafted.

Neither team was able to create much separation, with the Sixers taking advantage of their interior presence and Brooklyn playing at a fast tempo on offense. The Sixers appeared to be getting whatever they wanted offensively, culminating in the Nets taking a timeout late in the second.

Brooklyn held their own offensively, resulting in an astounding 18 lead changes in the first half alone. Lopez dominated for the Nets in the first half, putting up 19 points on a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. The Sixers found themselves down by three at the half, 57-54.

The Nets surprisingly came out of halftime hot, as they took their largest lead of the night. Embiid then began to show why he is the early season favorite for Rookie of the Year by putting in four straight easy layups as a result of some crafty footwork. Brooklyn had no answer for the Sixers “twin towers” combo of Embiid and Okafor, who would ultimately keep the game competitive in the third.

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Hollis-Jefferson came to life late in the third, but was only able to convert on one of his four foul shot attempts during that stretch of the game. The Sixers were not able to take advantage of these mistakes and remained down for most of the period. Jeremy Lin woke up after halftime, as he hit some much-needed buckets for Brooklyn to maintain their lead.

A couple of jumpers from the Nets held off Embiid’s scoring burst in the third. The big man from Kansas totaled 24 points at the end of three. Despite this, Brooklyn led 86-83 heading into the final period.

Philadelphia then took its first lead since halftime, 87-86, off a Sergio Rodriguez jumper. A couple more easy buckets gave Philadelphia the momentum early in the fourth. Lopez finally checked back into the game to stop the bleeding once Philadelphia built an eight-point lead. He made an immediate difference, as the big man dished out a slick assist to Luis Scola to cut the deficit to five.

Harris then hit his fifth three of the night to cut the Sixer lead to only one possession. The game became a back-and-forth affair between each team’s best player, as Lopez and Embiid traded crafty buckets.

After a Lin three, the Sixers only led 102-101 with a minute to go in the game. With 12 seconds to go, Embiid hit two free throws to increase his team’s lead to three points. Lin then missed a difficult three, which essentially ended any chance the Nets had of completing a comeback.

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Despite a pair of impressive threes from Bojan Bogdanovic and  Lin in the final seconds of the game, the Nets lost to the Sixers, 107-108.

Brooklyn will play the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday in their next matchup.