Sixers Take Command of First Place with Win Over Nets
The Sixers and Nets would face on Wednesday in what was viewed to be a battle of Eastern Conference juggernauts. That would not be the case as the Nets would be without multiple key players for various reasons.
Brooklyn would not let the injuries of their stars hold them back, as they would still put up a good fight. This effort would all be for not as the Sixers would walk away with a 123-117 victory.
Joel Embiid has been on an incredible hot streak, and it would continue in this matchup. He would finish with a game-high 39 points and come down with 13 rebounds. Brooklyn had no answer for him almost all game. Their closest chance to containing him was sending a double team the instant he touched the ball no matter where he was on the floor.
With Embiid going on for huge numbers it went slightly overlooked, but Tobias Harris would put on a great performance against the Nets. He would do it all, finishing with 26 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and two blocks. Harris continues to be a reliable option when this team needs him in big games.
In their recent games, Ben Simmons appeared to be breaking out of his recent funk. The confidence he played with against Brooklyn would be a testament to that, as he would be all over the floor.
Simmons would end the night as the team's third-leading scorer with 17 points while dishing nine assists and coming up with three steals. He would shoot an efficient 54.5% from the field and hit five of his eight free-throw attempts.
Brooklyn would still have the services of one of its All-Stars and he would make his presence known. After missing some games due to personal reasons, Kyrie Irving would make his return to the lineup against the Sixers.
He would go on to score 37 points, shooting 13-22 from the floor, and a perfect 10-10 from the free-throw line. Along with his scoring barrage, Irving would also have a team-high nine assists.
While this game could not be used as a measuring stick due to injuries, it still held a lot of weight. With this win, the Sixers now move into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference.
More importantly, they hold the tiebreaker as they have won the season series. This could come in handy as the regular season continues to wind down.
Despite Brooklyn clawing back and making things interesting, a win is still a win. They kick off what is shaping to be a tough stretch of games in the win column.
Looking ahead, the Sixers will be back in action on home on Friday night for a matchup against Doc Rivers' former team, the LA Clippers.