Opportunity Awaits in Game 4

by Lauren Rosen

After winning Games 2 and 3 of their first-round matchup with the Brooklyn Nets in convincing fashion, the 76ers will be presented with an enticing opportunity Saturday -  head back to Philadelphia with the chance to close out the series.

“Got to be prepared,” Ben Simmons said at Friday’s practice. “Lock in today, get ready].”

The Sixers’ 145-123 win at home Monday, and 131-115 victory in Brooklyn Thursday gave fans plenty to look forward to as the series progresses. The Sixers have a 2-1 lead.

Without Joel Embiid in Game 3 (left knee), Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons helped the Sixers crash the Nets’ playoff homecoming party -- their first playoff game in Brooklyn since 2015.

In his second career playoff win, Harris shone, finishing with a massive 29-point, 16-rebound double-double. He said that the team’s spirit stood out most.

“We had a lot of plays where we were fighting for one another, and embracing each other on the floor,” Harris said. “It was big for us.”

Simmons put together one of the best games of his young career, stuffing the stat sheet with 31 points, nine assists, four rebounds, two steals, and three blocks. He shot 9-11 from the foul line.

“I thought Ben was exceptional,” Brett Brown said.

Embiid is doubtful for Game 4; however, the Sixers have found multiple options to backup their All-Star big man.

Greg Monroe (9 pts, 13 reb) started in place of Embiid Thursday, while Boban Marjanovic (14 pts, 8 reb) brought fire to the frontcourt off the bench.

Brown was particularly impressed with Marjanovic’s ability to defend in transition, and admired Monroe’s readiness to step in in Game 3.

“Certainly [Monroe] helped us win a playoff game,” Brown said Friday. “I thought that he was excellent in so many areas.”

Saturday’s Game 4 tips off at 3:00 p.m. ET in Brooklyn. The Sixers will return to The Center for Game 5, scheduled for Tuesday.

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