The Brooklyn Nets finished their 7-game, 17-day road trip at 2-5 after squandering away chances to get back into a 123-110 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Brooklyn Nets finished their longest road trip of the season not so much with a thud as with a clank.
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The Nets squandered away any chance to make it a competitive game down the stretch with a ghastly showing at the free throw line in the second half — going just 7-for-15 — and the Philadelphia 76ers salvaged a split of the season series with a 123-110 victory at Wells Fargo Center Thursday night.
Philadelphia (48-27) led most of the way in snapping a two-game losing streak while picking up its sixth straight victory at home. D’Angelo Russell gave Brooklyn (38-38) its largest lead of the night by stealing the opening tip from J.J. Redick and scoring on a breakaway layup.
The 76ers led by 15 at the end of the first quarter, 38-23, and were up by 20 in the second period before Rondae Hollis-Jefferson entered the game and made it interesting.
RHJ, who had taken two straight DNP-CDs since hitting the game-winner in Brooklyn’s record-setting comeback win at Sacramento on Tuesday, scored 12 of his 19 points in the second quarter as the Nets roared back to within seven before settling for a 68-58 halftime deficit.
Brooklyn was never able to get closer than six in the second half, in part because of the missed chances at the foul line.
After the Nets hit 12-of-14 from the stripe in the first half, their touch vanished after the break — including three empty trips, two from Rodions Kurucs and one from Russell. Those misses piled up and prevented Brooklyn from capitalizing on potential momentum swings.
Russell’s misses came with 3:11 remaining in the game and Brooklyn down 11 after Joe Harris had made a technical free throw.
Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons had been T’d up after fouling out on the call that put Russell at the line, but DLo clanked both attempts and Joel Embiid‘s basket at the other end prompted Nets coach Kenny Atkinson to all a timeout and clear his bench.
Besides the foul shooting, it was Brooklyn’s inability to stop 76er centers Joel Embiid and Boban Marjanovic that cost them. The pair of Philadelphia big men combined for 55 points.
Starting center Jarrett Allen wasn’t around for a lot of that, as he was benched with 3:16 left in the first quarter and never re-entered the game.
The Nets struggled with their shooting overall after a hot start, hitting just 44.4 percent (40-for-90) overall and going 11-for-32 (34.4 percent) from deep, as opposed to the 76ers hitting 50 percent (45-for-90) and canning 12-of-25 (48 percent) from long range.
Philadelphia committed only 10 turnovers to Brooklyn’s 15 and outscored the Nets off those mistakes by an 18-13 margin.
Harris was hot for the Nets, finishing with 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting and dropping 4-of-6 from deep. Hollis-Jefferson finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Russell went for 13 points and eight assists.
Embiid had game-highs of 39 points and 13 rebounds to go with six assists and three steals. Tobias Harris had 10 boards for Philadelphia, Simmons logged 16 points and eight assists and Jimmy Butler had three steals.
It is notable, however, that Brooklyn’s starting frontcourt of Kurucs, Allen and DeMarre Carroll finished with seven points combined on 3-of-11 shooting. That negated Butler and Tobias Harris combining to score just 15 points on 6-of-18 shooting.
Here are three takeaways from a tough loss at Philadelphia.