Through the Lens: Brooklyn Nets Break Out in Philadelphia
Take a look at the Nets in their 129-100 win over the Sixers
The Brooklyn Nets took on a hostile crowd and a fellow Eastern Conference contender down the road in Philadelphia on Thursday night and well before the clock ran out on Brooklyn’s decisive 129-100 win the Nets had taken control of the evening. Brooklyn came out scorching in putting up 72 first-half points on 64.4 percent shooting and 55 percent from 3-point range, eventually leading by as many as 32 points in the third quarter. “It was a good environment to start,” said Kevin Durant. “It didn’t finish that way. It didn’t feel like that when we left off the court. It felt like this was a regular game like I’ve been saying. I like how we approached the game. I like how we played with physicality and didn’t let none of that stuff affect what we wanted to do. We just stayed focused on us. No matter who we played tonight I felt like we were locked in.”
Before the game, Nets head coach Steve Nash talked about appreciating the intense environment awaiting his team. “I’m jealous,” said Nash. “I wish I could be out there tonight. These are the types of games that you want to play in and that you get excited for. Those guys will be ready to go.” Less than two minutes into the game, Kevin Durant demonstrated that the Nets were wired exactly how Nash wanted them to be. Durant stormed down the lane, threw down a dunk for Brooklyn’s second basket of the game, then sent some energy toward the crowd on the baseline, which included Allen Iverson and Julius Erving. “I seen two legends on the baseline, AI and Dr. J and I got a dunk. I just figured I was just excited about the play and those two guys understand to play in an environment like that and have a big play so I was just letting everybody know I was here and I was ready to hoop tonight.” Durant went on to lead the Nets with 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting and post a double-double with 14 rebounds plus seven assists and two steals.
It wasn’t just on the court that the Nets took over the night and changed the tenor in the building. By the end of the night, “BROOOOOKLYN” chants had broken through the noise of the home fans while the Nets ran away with the game on the court. “Our fans travel,” said Durant. “It was pretty remarkable to see Brooklyn fans because the label on us is that we don’t have any fans so to hear them in a huge arena like this fighting against another energetic crowd like the Sixers fans it was great to see. I’m starting to see it more and more last couple of years since I’ve been here that fans are starting to travel and support us so we’re definitely going to need that going forward.”
The trade deadline deal that sent James Harden to Philadelphia brought Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, and Seth Curry to Brooklyn, reshaping both teams. Curry and Drummond both stepped right into Brooklyn’s starting lineup, and in his return to Philadelphia Curry went for 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, with five steals. Since joining the Nets, Curry is averaging 15.8 points and shooting 45.2 percent from 3-point range. “I thought he was aggressive,” said Steve Nash. “He’s got a high IQ and skill level so I thought he was really aggressive tonight, made shots, made plays but you could tell that he was really up for the game and up for the environment on the night of returning to his old team.”
After destroying Charlotte with 50 points on Tuesday night, Kyrie Irving had 22 points and five 3-pointers as the Nets ran over the Sixers in Philadelphia on Thursday night. “We just have to pick up more, man; just have to pick up more,” said Irving. “But I think the mentality in our locker room is just one day at a time, and control what we can control. And when we have games like this is a time to focus, limit all the distractions coming into this arena. And we call it…we say we're locked in, but we really don't want to give in to the emotions too much, just play a balanced game. It was nothing personal with anybody on the other team, but we were going to do everything it takes for us to collectively be great.”
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