April 5, 2014 | Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
In a valiant effort, the Sixers climbed back from a 21-point third quarter deficit to make it a two-point game after a Hollis Thompson three-pointer in the far corner with 11.5 seconds left in regulation. But Thompson’s late-game heroics weren’t enough, as the Nets converted their free throws down the stretch to lock up a 105-101 victory at Wells Fargo Center.
Thaddeus Young finished with 20 points to lead the Sixers, also contributing five rebounds and three assists. Michael Carter-Williams had 12 points, 11 assists, and five rebounds without committing a turnover, and Henry Sims finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Sixers return to action Wednesday at 7pm against the Raptors in Toronto.
Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach Brett Brown
Q: What numbers stand out, was it the points in the paint and the threes?
It’s more of a spirit thing. We started the game content. We had a win and we came into our own building, and for whatever reason, we didn’t play with the energy we needed to. The end of the second period, we just muddled it up, and those few possessions when it ends up a four-point game matter. They do, they matter. The message for our guys is how do you back up a NBA game where you’re on the road then you come home or vice versa, because it is a show-me league. You have to deliver again and again and again. That’s the mindset, that’s the culture, that’s the hardening that we have to grow and cultivate, it needs to be a part of our program, and we just didn’t do that. On the flip side, to their credit, they didn’t roll over, and they found a way to get back in it, and had a chance to get it close and possibly win it. I think that Tony Wroten and Elliot Williams jump-started us into being competitive in the second half. Thad [Young] had a little stretch where he made some threes and made the long two that helped carry us. But I see it being that more than a stat that stands out.
Q: It did seem like they got so many easy baskets the first three quarters, but once you made them work harder, it seemed like that’s when you got back into it.
You think so, and that is the holy grail of the NBA, is how do you build a program when the guys play harder than other teams as many nights as you can find it. Yes, your question is fair and my answer is that. We ended up finding a group we changed and chopped and experimented, and we finally found a group of Tony Wroten, Elliot [Williams] and Michael [Carter-Williams]. We set some things up for Hollis [Thompson] late. He had a big game from the three-point line for us, but the energy of that particular group’s energy is what was best tonight.
Philadelphia 76ers Guard Tony Wroten
Q: What were you thinking when you guys made the comeback and they only had one or two starters out there?
We were trying to come back and win, no matter if they had the bench, the starters, or who they had. No matter who they had out there, we’re trying to win regardless.
Q: Were you expecting him to put the starters back the way you all were coming back?
I don’t really know, I wasn’t really thinking about that in the heat of the moment, not really focused on that. We were just worried about getting a stop and trying to come back for a win, so we weren’t focused on who was coming in. We obviously knew that if we kept coming back, then they were going to put the starters back in.
Q: Does the crowd help you guys towards the end of the game like that?
Yeah definitely, regardless of our record, Philadelphia has one of the best fan bases in the NBA. When the crowd gets behind you like that, you want to pull it out for them, and it helps.
Brooklyn Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd
Q: How do you break down the last few minutes of this ball game?
I felt it gave us an opportunity to execute on some late-game stuff. Guys made free throws and we got stops when we had to. There is no better time to see which guys can handle different situations. Mirza [Teletovic] made a big shot minutes after taking a tough shot and not hitting anything. It is a great time for teammates and coaches to see how guys handle different situations.
Q: Was that as good of a performance as you could have hoped for from Kevin [Garnett] overall?
Yeah, I thought he was great. My thought at halftime was that he was done and that he was going in the right direction. He wanted a couple more minutes, so we gave him another four minutes and he looked like he didn’t miss a day. Hopefully he can build on that, and hopefully he feels great.
Brooklyn Nets Guard Deron Williams
Q: How much does it help you having a guy like [Shaun] Livingston on the floor with you to share the point guard duties, especially in late-game situations?
It was good, because I get to get the ball out of my hands and I’m not forced to make plays all the time when we have another playmaker out there. I think our ball movement as a unit is better because of two point guards being out there.
Q: [Jason] Kidd joked about Kevin Garnett calling him a rookie and saying that he hasn’t played in a while. Talk about getting him back today…
It was good to have the Big Ticket back. He just means a lot to this team emotionally and leadership-wise, not only the things he can do on the court.
Brooklyn Nets Forward Joe Johnson
Q: What was going on in your mind during that fourth-quarter final stretch when you were watching your team try to close this out.
I was hoping that we were going to be able to come up with the big plays down the stretch, not just offensively, but defensively. They were basically just putting their head down, attacking the basket and trying to get easy baskets or fouls. I thought we had to match that and within the last two minutes, were able to do that and hit some big free throws down the stretch.