The Nets were in the City of Brother Love on Friday, looking to derail the Sixers’ postseason push. It was sloppy on both sides, but the Nets prevailed, 95-89.
The first quarter saw runs by each team. 3 straight Elton Brand buckets helped the 76ers run out to a quick 6-0 advantage, and then Jrue Holiday hit a three-point jumper to put the Sixers up 11-4 with eight minutes to go. However, the Nets came right back and went on a 20-7 run for the rest of the period, taking a 24-18 advantage into the second quarter.
Center Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks killed the Sixers late in the period, combining for 11 points in a three-minute span to regain the lead.
I guess Doug Collins had a better motivational speech than Avery Johnson going into the second quarter, because the Sixers played well in the quarter, outscoring New Jersey 26-17.
Spencer Hawes made a 19-foot jumper to give the Sixers their largest lead at 8, 44-36 with 80 seconds remaining. Gerald Green banged out a three to cut his team’s halftime deficit to only 3, 44-41.
Avery Johnson’s team came storming back in the third quarter. Marshon Brooks made a jumper to give the Nets a 4-point lead, 54-50. Fortunately, the Sixers storm back to take a 2 point lead, 58-56, thanks to an 8-2 run featuring four points each from Evan Turner and Thad Young.
The score was 66-63 by the end of the period, in favor of the Sixers.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Nets, a reoccurring theme for Sixers’ opponents. With 7:43 to play, Gerald Green made another three to put the Nets up 4, 76-72. Lou Williams would tie it a few moments later. After a couple of free throws and an and1 from the Nets, the Sixers trailed 85-82, with the ball in Jrue Holiday’s hands.
Jrue Holiday drew a foul out of Deron Williams and Marshon Brooks was called for a technical. Jrue made the free throw and then sunk a jumper to tie the game at 85, with 3:15 to play. The Williamses, Jordan and Deron, later made 1 of 2 free throws each.
The Nets were up 2. With 1:47 to play, Thaddeus Young lost the ball. On the other end, this led to a Gerald Green three, giving New Jersey a five-point lead. A pair of Lou Williams free throws were canceled out by a pair from Brooks. Then, the knock-out punch. Deron Williams got trapped in the paint and kicked it out to Marshon Brooks, who dropped a three that would kill the Sixers, 95-89.
The Sixers shot 1-10 from downtown, and 34-81 (42%). Andre Iguodala had just 11 points on 3-7 shooting. Jrue Holiday had 19 on 7-14. Evan Turner had 18 on 9-16. Thaddeus Young had 13 points on 6-12 shooting.
The Nets shot 6-16 from three-point land. Gerald Green shot 4-5 from beyond the arc for his 23 points. Marshon Brooks had 22 on 9-15. Kris Humphries had 18 points and 13 rebounds on 7-14 FG. Deron Williams had 11 points and 10 assists on 4-14 FG.
The Sixers (31-28) are tied with the Knicks for the seventh seed. They play the Magic in Orlando, on Monday. The Nets (22-38) play the Celtics in New Jersey, on Saturday.