featured-image

Sixers 124, Nets 108: James Harden Posts Double-Double

It was over the final five minutes of the third quarter on Saturday night that everything caught up to the Brooklyn Nets. Playing without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the second night of a back-to-back, they were even seven minutes into the second half before the Philadelphia 76ers broke away to a 124-108 win.

Tied at 79 with 5:15 to go in the third quarter, the Nets were outscored 14-0 over the next three minutes, and the Sixers went on to make it a 23-7 run to close the quarter and take a 16-point lead into the fourth.

“It was a bit of everything,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash. “It’s a strong team. We were a little undermanned. I thought our guys got a little tired from the load they were carrying and they were able to use their depth and talent to find a little separation, but I was proud of the way the guys competed and approached the game.”

James Harden led Brooklyn with 26 points and 10 assists, his 10th double-double in 11 games as a Net, and had eight rebounds as well.

Landry Shamet was next with 22 points, making five 3-pointers. Those were season highs for Shamet, and followed up the four threes he knocked down Friday night against Toronto.

“He’s finding his rhythm, his confidence,” said Nash. “I think this is a player that we all know he can be and hopefully he can continue to build some momentum and belief and confidence and let it fly. He’s always worked hard. He’s always competed. He’s one of the guys you know is gonna stick to the game plan both ends of the floor. Making shots is obviously the last step and he’s starting to make them.”

Joe Harris scored 14 points for Brooklyn, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot had 13 and Jeff Green scored 10.

But the Nets allowed 51.1-percent shooting from the Sixers, who scored 62 points in the paint. Outrebounded 51-34, the Nets gave up 13 offensive boards and 22 second-chance points.

The Nets went into halftime trailing 59-56.

Joel Embiid scored 15 of Philadelphia’s first 26 points as the Sixers went up 34-29 at the end of the first quarter and extended their lead to 38-29 in the opening minutes of the second.

But with a second unit grouping on the floor for the first half of the second quarter, the Nets chipped away at that Philadelphia lead. Trailing 46-39, the Nets got a drive from Luwawu-Cabarrot, a Norvel Pelle putback, and then an elbow jumper from Tyler Johnson to make it 48-45.

With Harden back in, the Nets scored eight straight to make it a 14-4 run and take a 53-50 lead, and were up 56-42 after Shamet’s second 3-pointer of the quarter before the Sixers scored the final seven points of the half to take a three-point lead into the break.