The Brooklyn Nets did not add to their league-leading total of 20 games decided by three points or less on Monday night in Portland, nor did they add to their franchise record of 12 such wins this season.
By any other standard in which you choose to measure Brooklyn's penchant for down-to-the-wire finishes though, the 148-144 double-overtime loss qualified.
It was the seventh overtime game of the season, tied for the league lead, and Brooklyn's fourth multiple-overtime game of the year, a franchise record. The Nets have played 42 "clutch" games, defined by the NBA as a margin of five points or less in the final five minutes, and they've won 23 of them, both tied for fourth in the league.
If anything, the Nets have taken their talents for twists and turns to new levels as they've bounced through three time zones on their way out west.
They were up 17 in Oklahoma City and lost, went up 19 against the Clippers, fell behind by 11, then scored 10 straight points in the final minute before losing on a buzzer-beater. The Nets were down 28 in Sacramento, 25 going into the fourth quarter, and somehow, out of those three games, that was the one that they won, thanks to a 45-18 fourth quarter. Then came an epic game in Portland.
Brooklyn's last four games were decided by a total of 14 points.
RUSSELL RED HOT ON THE ROAD
D'Angelo Russell has taken his breakthrough All-Star season to another level since the Nets left town. Over the first six games of the road trip that wraps up Thursday night in Philadelphia, Russell is averaging 28.3 points and 9.0 assists per game, scoring at least 20 points in a career-high five straight games. He's also topped 30 points in three of his last four games, including a career-high 44 points at Sacramento. Against the Kings and Clippers, Russell posted back-to-back 30-point double-doubles, the first two such games of his career. When he added 21 points and 13 assists in a win over the Lakers, Russell had three straight double-doubles for the first time in his career. Monday night in Portland, the point guard scored 39 with nine rebounds and eight assists.
ABOUT THE SIXERS
The Sixers were well on their way to locking up the Eastern Conference's third seed with six straight wins until they stalled with losses to Atlanta and Orlando in their last two. They're still 47-27, with a two-game lead on fourth-place Indiana (45-29). Philadelphia is eighth in the NBA in offensive rating (111.4), 11th in defensive rating (108.5) and 11th in net rating (2.9). The Sixers are fourth in the league in scoring (115.1), fourth in assists (26.9), fourth in rebounding (47.5), second in free throw attempts (27.9), eighth in field goal percentage (47.1) and ninth in 3-point percentage (35.8). Joel Embiid is fifth in the NBA in scoring (27.3) and second in rebounding (13.7). Ben Simmons is fifth in assists (7.8) and also averages 17.1 points and 9.0 rebounds. Philadelphia's second and third leading scorers are in-season acquisitions. Tobias Harris has averaged 19.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in 20 games and Jimmy Butler has averaged 18.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 51 games. JJ Redick shoots 39 percent from 3-point range.