In the Bonus | 01.31.18 vs Nets

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

The following notes and nuggets were taken from the 76ers’ January 31st 116-108 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Click here for a complete recap of the game, and be sure to check out our post-game pod below:

Bonus Points:

• Despite Wednesday’s loss, the Sixers’ third in a row, they posted a 7-5 record in January, tied for the NBA’s 10th-best mark. It represented the third time in Brett Brown’s four-plus season tenure that the club enjoyed a winning month. The Sixers’ first winning month under Brown came last January, when they went 10-5. The team had nine wins and five losses this past November.

• If you’ve been reading these pieces on a regular basis, thank you, first and foremost. Secondly, apologies for us doing what we’re about to do, which is once again reference a trend that we’ve been tracking for the last week or so. At Barclays Center Wednesday, Ben Simmons had another aggressive start. He powered his way to 10 first-quarter points on 5 for 6 shooting in just 9 minutes of action. Dating back to the Sixers’ January 24th win against Chicago, in which he pumped out 8 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists in the opening period while playing all 12 minutes, the rookie point man has averaged 6.2 points, 3.2 boards, and 2.6 dimes over his last five first quarters. On a per 36-minute basis, those splits translate to 23.8, 12.3, and 10.0, respectively.

• Ben Simmons also put together an assertive flurry during the middle stages of Wednesday’s second period. Attacking the interior, the rookie at one point ripped off 8 points in a row, helping to keep the Sixers within a possession of Brooklyn. The spurt was highlighted by this noteworthy reverse jam.

• Netting 24 points Wednesday, which tied the fourth-highest output of his career, Ben Simmons has now reached or surpassed the 20-point plateau for the 15th time in his debut campaign. That total ties the 21-year old with Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma for second-most among this year’s rookies. Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell tops the list with 23 20-point games.

• It took only three and a half minutes Wednesday for the Sixers to hit a 3-pointer, doing so on their first attempt of the evening courtesy of Dario Saric. Nine seconds later, the team nailed its second trey, this time via the right hand of Joel Embiid. Just like that, before there was even a stoppage in play, the Sixers had matched their 3-point total from Monday’s loss in Milwaukee, when they went 2 for 26 from beyond the arc.

• The Sixers went 7 for 18 from 3-point territory Wednesday. JJ Redick led the way, going 3 for 4 from distance himself. The 33-year old’s second triple, which came late in the second quarter, was his 100th of the season. He’s now reached triple-digits in threes for a fourth straight campaign, and the 7th time in his 12-year career.

The Sixers turned in another stellar showing from the free throw line, converting 29 of their 34 attempts (85.3%) versus Brooklyn. The performance was on par with the team’s recent showings, as the Sixers have shot 85.2 percent from the stripe over their last three games. The group is currently in the midst of its second three-game streak of the season during which they’ve shot at least 80.0 percent on a minimum of 20 tries from the line.

• The Sixers were a perfect 15 for 15 from the free throw line to start Monday’s game. They didn’t miss until their 21st attempt in Monday’s stop at Milwaukee.

• JJ Redick, in his first appearance since January 15th, sunk 9 of his 10 foul shots against the Brooklyn Nets, marking one of his most potent performances from the line as a pro. Only five times previously in his career had he taken double-digit attempts from the line, with his high being 11. As of Thursday morning, Redick continued to pace the NBA in free throw shooting percentage, with 94.3 (115-122).

• To begin Wednesday’s contest at Barclays Center, the Sixers received their first 18 points from the trio of budding blue-chippers who will represent the organization in this year’s Mtn Dew Kickstarter Rising Stars Challenge. Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and Ben Simmons were all nominated to participate in the league’s annual rookie-sophomore showcase, and had tallied 7 points, 5 points, and 6 points, respectively (staking the Sixers to an 18-11 lead, no less), by the time Embiid subbed out midway through the opening period.

• For the second time on their now-completed four-game road trip, the Sixers established a new season-low for turnovers. They surrendered 10 giveaways in last Friday’s victory at San Antonio, then gave the ball away only eight times Wednesday at Brooklyn. The Sixers have committed 14 turnovers or fewer each of their last five tilts, matching the second-longest streak of its kind of the Brett Brown era.

• One of the key statistical disparities that Brett Brown noted following Wednesday’s game was the differential in bench production. The Sixers’ reserve corps accounted for 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists, while their counterparts from Brooklyn manufactured 38 points (D’Angelo Russell was a big factor, with 22 points), 17 boards, and 7 helpers.

• Following Wednesday’s game, Brett Brown spoke about the importance of finding ways to get Robert Covington going. The wing man tallied 6 points on 2-3 shooting against the Nets, to go with 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 1 steal.

“I think the league knows where he is, and they’re always making him try to dribble,” said Brown. “They recognize he can shoot, but I think we have to do a better job of freeing him up, I have to do a better job of trying to help him, and help I will give him.”

A handful of players Wednesday found themselves squaring off against their former clubs. Back in December, the Sixers acquired Trevor Booker from Brooklyn in exchange for Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas. Booker finished with 6 points (3-3 fg) and 5 rebounds in 14 minutes in facing the Nets for the first time since the swap. Okafor produced 8 points (4-5 fg) and 3 caroms in 14 minutes, while Stauskas ended the evening with 3 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and a plus-15 rating. James Webb III, the former Delaware 87er, logged 11 minutes off the bench, and went 0 for 2 from the field.

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