NBA: 76ers take 2-0 lead in series vs Nets | Inquirer Sports

NBA: 76ers take 2-0 lead in series vs Nets

/ 10:49 AM April 18, 2023

Tyrese Maxey 76ers NBA

Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Brooklyn Nets in the third quarter during Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on April 17, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Nets 96-84. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images/AFP

Tyrese Maxey hit six 3-pointers and scored 33 points to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers to a 96-84 victory and a 2-0 series lead over the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Monday.

Game 3 will be Thursday in New York.


Joel Embiid added 20 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists and three blocked shots, and Tobias Harris had 20 points and 12 rebounds. James Harden chipped in with eight points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals.


With the Sixers leading 85-78 in the fourth quarter, Embiid threw down a dunk and followed with a tough turnaround jumper for an 89-78 advantage with 2:39 left.

Cameron Johnson led the Nets with 28 points, while Mikal Bridges added 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Spencer Dinwiddie finished with 12 points.

Bridges’ jumper had pulled the Nets within 85-78 with 3:34 left.

Philadelphia took a 76-68 lead with 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter when Harris drove to the basket and scored.

Seth Curry knocked down a 3-pointer 22 seconds later to quickly close within five.

Moments later, Maxey’s trey put the Sixers ahead 83-73, but Royce O’Neale came right back with a 3-pointer with 4:31 left to cut the deficit to seven.

“He trusts in me, and he trusts in Tobias to make the big shots tonight, and that’s what we did,” Maxey said of Embiid’s selfless performance.

The Nets went ahead 43-35 in the second quarter when O’Neale dropped in a 3-pointer from the wing with 3:57 left. After an empty Sixers possession, Johnson capped a 14-3 run with a dunk for a 10-point advantage.

Maxey hit a deep trey and the Sixers closed within 47-42 with about one minute remaining.

The Nets led 49-44 at halftime thanks in large part to Johnson’s 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting.

Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers admitted his team had been lucky to face only a five-point deficit heading into half-time.

“I thought we wasted the whole first half,” Rivers said. “We were fortunate. At half-time they could have been up more with the way we played. We’re a better team than the way we played in the first half.

“But this is what the playoffs are all about — it’s gonna test your trust. This was an early test for us, and we came through it.”

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Maxey kept the Sixers close with 15 points, while Embiid pulled down 15 rebounds.

The Sixers came out hot from 3-point territory in the third and took a 64-56 lead with 6:07 left after consecutive treys from Harden and Harris.

Philadelphia held a 68-63 advantage at the end of the third.


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TAGS: NBA, Philadelphia 76ers

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