Brooklyn Nets bench outscores Philadelphia by 33, takes Game 1 on the road

Brooklyn Nets Caris LeVert. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Caris LeVert. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Spencer Dinwiddie, D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert combined for 67 points as the Brooklyn Nets went into Philadelphia and handily beat the 76ers to take a 1-0 series lead.

Going into Game 1 of this series, many didn’t give the Brooklyn Nets a fair shake against the favored Philadelphia 76ers. After exceeding expectations, going 42-40 and earning the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, many analysts picked the Sixers to coast in this series.

In Game 1 on Saturday, the Nets continued their Cinderella-like run with an eye opening 111-102 road win.

D’Angelo Russell, in his first career playoff game, led the Nets with 26 points, including 14 in the third quarter as he, Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie led the charge in an statement victory.

The Nets had to rely on their bench early and often as the starters struggled to contain Joel Embiid in the paint during the first few minutes of action.

Between the frequent fouls called on Brooklyn, Jarrett Allen‘s foul trouble and the easy post buckets for Embiid, coach Kenny Atkinson turned to some familiar faces to turn the tide.

Ed Davis and Jared Dudley came in for Rodions Kurucs and Jarrett Allen early in the first quarter and immediately had a positive impact for the Nets. Davis finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds in 28 minutes and was a plus-28 on the floor.

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His tough rebounding and finishing was instrumental in the Nets holding and building a lead in the game.

Dudley attempted only two shots and only scored four points, but his grit and help defense on Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris was important for Brooklyn.

He was a pest on defensive, causing turnovers and taking charges while moving the ball and finding open teammates on offense.

Brooklyn controlled the tempo of the game and forced the 76ers to settle for jump shots. Philly shot just 3-of-25 from behind the arc and even though they went to the free throw line 42 times, they could not figure out how to stop Brooklyn’s pick-and-roll offense.

As the crowd of over 20,000 at the Wells Fargo Center booed the home 76ers, the Nets find themselves in a great position heading into Game 2. Now with home court advantage, the Nets look to steal another road game and go back to Brooklyn with a commanding 2-0 lead.

Philadelphia will look to respond on Monday after one of their most embarrassing performances of the season. With the acquisitions of Jimmy Butler and Harris in the middle of the season, the goal of the 76ers is to make a deep playoff run.

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Anything short of an Eastern Conference Finals appearance would be a disappointment for Philly.