The 76ers (3-0) have a chance to sweep their first round matchup with the Brooklyn Nets (0-3) in Saturday’s Game 4 matinee in Brooklyn..
Doc Rivers called Thursday’s Game 3 the epitome of a team win - after the Nets outscored the Sixers, 35-18, in the third quarter, the Sixers bounced back for a 26-15 fourth period.
“That was called a win,” Rivers said postgame. “We didn’t do a lot of things right, a lot of things didn’t go our way, and we just hung in there and won the game.”
In a tense affair that included a pair of ejections (James Harden and Nic Claxton), Rivers credited his team for keeping its cool down the stretch.
“We executed down the stretch. Got great shots. We moved the ball, and played right.”
Tyrese Maxey led the way for the Sixers, scoring 15 points in the first half and 10 more in the game’s final - and pivotal - minutes.
Over the course of the series thus far, Maxey has averaged a team-high 23.7 points, plus four rebounds and two assists. The third-year Sixer is shooting a massive 53.8% from 3-point territory.
“I’m always trying to get him activated,” P.J. Tucker said of Maxey postgame. “He doesn’t need a lot to get going. He can just run them off, and take over the game. He’s that good.”
Mikal Bridges had another big night for Brooklyn, finishing with a game-high 26 points, six rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block. Spencer Dinwiddie added 20 points, three rebounds, a team-high seven assists, and two steals.
As of Friday evening, the Sixers will be without Joel Embiid (right knee sprain) in Game 4.
Saturday’s Game 4 is a 1 p.m. ET tip in Brooklyn.
Thursday’s Key Contributors
- Maxey finished with a team-high 25 points, plus three rebounds, three assists, and a steal. He shot 10-for-17 from the field and 5-for-8 from long range in his 36 minutes of play.
- Harris tallied 15 points and seven rebounds in Game 3, shooting 6-for-13 from the field and 2-for-4 from long range in 36 minutes.
- Embiid notched a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double, plus two assists and two blocks, shooting 5-for-13 from the field and 4-for-5 from the foul line.
- Harden totalled 21 points, five rebounds, and four assists. He shot 8-for-15 from the field and 3-for-7 from deep in 29 minutes.
- Melton stepped in in Harden’s absence down the stretch, notching a bench-high 30 minutes of play. He finished with 13 points, two rebounds, an assist, and a game-high three steals, finishing at a team-best +24.
- Tucker totalled three points, eight rebounds, and four assists in his 29 minutes.