In the Bonus | 03.11.18 vs Nets

by Brian Seltzer Reporter

The following notes and nuggets were taken from the 76ers’ March 11th 120-97 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Click here for a complete recap of the game, and be sure to check out our post-game pod below:

Bonus Points:

• In recent days, Brett Brown has talked a good amount about the balancing act currently confronting him and the Sixers: they’re trying to move up the food chain in the Eastern Conference, while also attempting to keep players fresh during a critical juncture of the season. Sunday, the Sixers walked that line well, thanks to having opened up a sizable lead over Brooklyn by the early stages of the fourth quarter. As a result, Brown had the luxury of resting many of his top guys down the stretch, with each starter ultimately logging less than 29 minutes. On the flip side, several of the Sixers’ low-minute reserves, such as Richaun Holmes (16 minutes), Justin Anderson (6 minutes), and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (5 minutes), were able to get valuable live game reps.

• Brett Brown has made growing the Sixers’ reserve corps a priority during the second half of the season, and Sunday, the second-stringers provided the team with a nice punch. The group racked up 39 points, which matched the Sixers’ highest bench scoring total in 30 games. The Sixers’ bench output has been on the rise since the team added Marco Belinelli (13 pts vs BRK) and Ersan Ilyasova (11 pts, 13 reb vs BRK). Following the Sixers’ win, Brown was asked about the impact the two veterans have had in a relatively short period of time.

“They’re just experienced men,” he said. “The fact they can shoot sort of rounds out the picture. The experience, the veteran side, good people, and they can shoot. That’s a pretty potent package for us.”

• Within minutes of Sunday’s game getting underway, it was evident the Sixers’ spirit was in a different place. They needed about two minutes to go on a run of 10 straight points after Brooklyn deposited the first basket of the night. While modest, and early, the Sixers’ spurt was key to setting the tone for the rest of the night.

• Another factor that became pretty clear pretty quickly Sunday was that Brooklyn didn’t have much of an answer for either of the Sixers’ top two threats, in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Both blue chippers started the evening 3 for 3 from the field, and combined to score 14 of their team’s first 17 points. Embiid also had this nice block in the first quarter.

• When called upon to sub in midway through Sunday’s first quarter, T.J. McConnell brought an instant intensity to the court, especially on the defensive end. It as almost as if he took Brett Brown’s recent comments about the Sixers needing to shore up their defense personally. The pesky point guard recorded three of his four steals in less than four minutes time.

• When it comes to on-court thievery, T.J. McConnell has put himself in a class all his own:

McConnell’s 2.8 steal percentage this season ranks eighth in the NBA. He’s finished among the top 10 in this category each of his first two years as a pro.

• Sunday’s outing at Brooklyn marked the second time in the Sixers’ last three games that JJ Redick buried an end-of-quarter, buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

By our count, Redick has now hit quarter-ending heaves on three separate occasions this season. There was also last Tuesday’s game in Charlotte…

...and the Sixers’ New Year’s Eve stop in Phoenix.

• As far as complete, two-way quarters go, Sunday’s first period was a pretty good one for the Sixers. They hit 16 of their 20 shots overall, becoming just the second team this season, along with Charlotte, to have an 80.0 percent shooting first quarter. The Sixers also assisted on 11 of their 16 first-quarter baskets. On the defensive end, they contained Brooklyn for 9 of 26 shooting (34.6 fg%, 2-9 3fg), a factor instrumental in the Sixers building up an encouraging 37-25 lead by the start of the second period.

• Robert Covington was the only Sixer not to score in Sunday’s first quarter. His fortunes changed swiftly in the second, as he nailed a triple 70 seconds into the period. The 3-point deposit sparked a stretch during which Covington punched in 11 of the 13 points the Sixers scored, while pushing the team’s margin to 19 points, a first-half high.

• The Sixers were awfully close to pulling off a 70-70 first half Sunday. While they did manage to reach the 70-point mark by intermission, a 70.0 percent field goal shooting clip eluded them, barely. The Sixers converted 66.7 percent of their attempts between the first and second quarters.

• Sunday represented the third time in the four games on the Sixers’ now-completed road trip that the club scored at least 70 first-half points. On the season, the Sixers have manufactured five 70-point first halves, a total tied with Denver and Cleveland for second-most in the NBA. Golden State leads the league in this category, with eight 70-point first halves.

• To the untrained eye at Barclays Center, D’Angelo Russell’s driving basket late in Sunday’s third quarter might have, at first glance, appeared to be an impressive and-1 scoring play. On the contrary, the sequence was the latest example of a job well done by The Professional. Drawing his 24th charge of the season, Ersan Ilyasova moved into second-place tie on the NBA leaderboard, a spot shared with the injured DeMarcus Cousins. Kyle Lowry has taken a league-high 30 charges this year.

• Prior to Sunday’s 11-point, 13-rebound effort in Brooklyn., Ersan Ilyasova had posted only one other double-double this season. He tallied 13 points and 13 rebounds January 8th at the LA Clippers.