PHILADELPHIA — When the Nets faced the 76ers 2 days earlier Thanksgiving, they mislaid to a decimated team. On Wednesday, successful the rematch — the archetypal clip the Nets’ Ben Simmons faced erstwhile teammate Joel Embiid — the effort was far, acold better, but the extremity effect the same.
Playing their seventh consecutive crippled without Kevin Durant, the shorthanded Nets mislaid a 137-133 heartbreaker earlier a venomous assemblage astatine Wells Fargo Center, who booed Simmons’ each touch.
The fans astir apt would’ve booed his each enactment if they could, specified is the city’s hatred of Simmons, who requested a commercialized past play amid a deteriorating narration with Embiid and got traded to the Nets for James Harden.
Embiid, who returned to the lineup Wednesday aft helium sat retired Saturday with ft soreness, was mostly outplayed by Nic Claxton, who had a career-high 25 points connected 11-for-12 shooting, portion adding 11 rebounds and 2 blocks. But the Nets didn’t suffer due to the fact that of Embiid. They mislaid due to the fact that their sloppiness dug a spread excessively heavy to ascent retired of.
The Nets trailed by 17 successful the 3rd 4th and were inactive down 116-102 successful the fourth, earlier an 18-4 blitz tied the score. But they couldn’t get implicit the hump, and gave an 8-2 tally close back.
A Kyrie Irving bucket chopped the Sixers’ pb to 133-131 with 45 seconds left, but Harden followed with a digit rotation to fundamentally crystal it.
It was a overmuch amended effort than the Nets’ Nov. 22 nonaccomplishment astatine Wells Fargo Center, erstwhile the Sixers played without Embiid, Harden and Tyrese Maxey.
“When [Embiid plays], I deliberation we person to dictate. You person to make immoderate signifier of havoc and get them to respond to you,” Nets manager Jacque Vaughn said. “If you fto [the bigger guy] dictate what’s going on, past it’s not going to just beauteous well.
“Whether that is changing the things we bash passim the people of the nighttime oregon making them deliberation a small spot connected who he’s going to guard, what his presumption is going to beryllium defensively, we’ll propulsion immoderate things defensively astatine him that we’re dictating, not reacting.”
On Wednesday, the Nets mislaid the pb during a 7-0 second-quarter Sixers tally and ne'er got it back. They were outscored 10-2 disconnected turnovers successful the quarter.
Seth Curry, who arrived with Simmons successful the Harden deal, led the Nets with 32 points connected 7-for-10 shooting from down the arc. Irving added 30 points and 10 assists, portion Simmons started horribly, but finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Nets (29-18) fell to 2-5 since losing Durant to a sprained close MCL connected Jan. 8. The squad announced Tuesday helium won’t beryllium reevaluated for 2 weeks.
Maxey had 27 points and Embiid scored 26 connected subpar six-for-18 shooting for the Sixers (31-16). Harden finished with 23 points — 8 successful the 4th fourth — and 7 assists.
The Nets led 43-41 moments into the 2nd 4th erstwhile Irving recovered T.J. Warren for a abbreviated fadeaway. But they surrendered 7 unanswered points, capped by Maxey’s step-back 3-pointer that made it 48-43.
They trailed by 10 astatine intermission and the shortage swelled to 94-77 aft an Embiid and-one midway done the 3rd quarter.
It was inactive 116-102 aft a Maxey bucket with 8:59 near successful the game, but the Nets reeled disconnected the adjacent 8 points unanswered, portion of an extended 18-4 run.
A Curry pull-up got them wrong 120-117, and aft a Harden travel, Curry knotted it connected a 3-pointer with 4:06 to play. But they ne'er pulled ahead.
Harden deed a 3-pointer of his ain to untie it, sparking a mini 8-2 spurt that proved excessively overmuch to overcome.