Bargnani Scores 23, Nets beat 76ers 100-91

By Cory Wright

The Brooklyn Nets did what they were supposed to do Thursday, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 100-91 at Barclays Center, but taking on the NBA’s worst team was no cakewalk. The Nets trailed the Sixers 74-70 after three quarters, but took care of business in the fourth starting with an 18-6 run, en route to a 30-17 fourth. With the win, the Nets extended their current streak to two games and earned their sixth win in seven games at Barclays Center.

“This was a win we had to get,” Brook Lopez said. “We knew we had to come in and beat this team and we did. It was a team-effort. Philly stuck with it, they are scrappy, they obviously really need this one, so they were persistent. We stuck with it and ground it out.”

Andrea Bargnani returned after missing four games with a hamstring injury and led the Nets with a game-high 23 points, also his most this season. Bargnani shot 8-of-15 and added six rebounds in 23:15, filling in for Lopez, who only played 19:03 due to early foul trouble.

“Guys got into foul trouble, so that’s what we have to do from the bench. We have to be ready in those situations,” Bargnani said. “Brook had a tough night with the fouls, they were calling everything on him. That’s what you have to do, you have to be ready.” Head coach Lionel Hollins called Thursday a good team win, highlighting the contributions from the bench, including Bargnani and Shane Larkin, who had 14 points (5-of-10) and six assists.

“This was truly a team win,” Hollins said. “We had a lot of people that played well. Andrea, Shane, Willie [Reed] and Markel [Brown] came in off the bench and did yeoman’s work. We got into a little foul trouble with Brook, so he didn’t get a lot of minutes or opportunities, but everybody else picked up the slack.”

Hollins credited his substitutions for grabbing the lead back from the 76ers on the 18-6 run, before re-inserting his starters to preserve it. Thaddeus Young scored 18 points with 11 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season.

“We definitely had to win this game. We’re supposed to beat the teams we’re supposed to beat,” Young said. “We came out, we executed, we got away from what we wanted to do for a quarter and then picked it back up in the fourth. Our bench was real good. They came in and gave us a spark and then some of the starters helped finish it off.”

“Hopefully we can transition these wins into more wins and continue to get ourselves back into the hunt.”

The Nets return to action on Saturday afternoon, when they host the LA Clippers at Barclays Center. Tipoff is at 5 p.m.

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