Brooklyn Nets' Ed Davis Comes Through in Game 1
Backup center notches 12 points and 16 boards, delivers on defense
PHILADELPHIA — As you might expect from a ninth-year veteran routinely praised for his leadership, experience, and basically every intangible you might want to list, Ed Davis sees the big picture.
"It's not like I get plays ran for me," said the Brooklyn Nets backup center. "It's just more on the offensive glass or getting dunk downs. I'm definitely not a focal point of the other team's scouting report on offense, and it's all good."
If you lose Davis, though, he'll punish you, and that was a lesson delivered to the Philadelphia 76ers in Brooklyn's 111-102 Game 1 win on Saturday afternoon. Davis scored 12 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, coming in at a plus-28 over his 25 minutes against the Sixers.
"Game-changer," said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson. "Jarrett (Allen) obviously got in foul trouble and Ed was the key. Gave us the physicality we needed. Obviously the rebounding. Did a good job on (Joel) Embiid and Boban (Marjanovic). Huge game by Ed."
He turned all three of his offensive rebounds into points, and they came at crucial junctures.
Brooklyn's 17-point second-quarter lead had been cut to eight at halftime, and then the Sixers opened the second half on a 9-3 run to get within 65-63. That's when Davis tipped in a D'Angelo Russell miss. Russell followed with two baskets to extend the lead.
Philadelphia was still within seven points later in the quarter when Davis drew a foul on an offensive rebound and made two free throws, then put back another offensive rebound for a 91-78 lead. The Nets went into the fourth quarter up 11. Philadephia never got within nine points again.
"Just trying to be physical, rebound the ball, be alert, know the scouting report, help the guys, be active on the group," said Davis.
Davis came through in a game where the Nets asked a little more from him with Allen drawing his fourth foul in the opening minutes of the third quarter. His 25 minutes played were eight more than his regular season average.
But everything else in Game 1 was pretty typical Ed Davis. He made 5-of-7 shots after shooting 61.6 percent during the regular season. He brought heady, give-no-quarter physicality to defending Embiid, who scored 30 points a game against Brooklyn during the regular season but shot 5-for-15 on Saturday.
And when it was done, and the sixth-seeded Nets had given notice to the Sixers and everybody watching the playoffs that they were here to win, yeah, Davis saw the big picture.
"Hopefully it rolls over. All the guys on the team are focused, professionals, ready to play," said Davis. "It's just one game. We can't go out and celebrate and pop bottles. It's one game, and it's the first to four, not first to get a victory."
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