Tobias Harris’ 34 Points Help Ben Simmons, 76ers Defeat Kyrie Irving, Nets

Tobias Harris’ 34 Points Help Ben Simmons, 76ers Defeat Kyrie Irving, Nets

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 15: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets on January 15, 2020 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

David Dow/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers got a much-needed win on Wednesday night. As usual, it came at home. 

The Sixers pulled away from the Brooklyn Nets late in the fourth quarter, winning 117-106, continuing their strong play in the Wells Fargo Center, where they’ve gone 19-2.

While the Nets are adjusting to life with superstar Kyrie Irving back in the lineup for just the third game after a lengthy absence, the Sixers ended their two-game losing streak without Joel Embiid. They are now 2-2 since the superstar big man suffered a left hand injury, tearing the radial collateral ligament in his fourth metacarpal in early January.

The win moved the Sixers to 26-16 on the season, leaving them in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, while the Nets dropped to 18-22. 

              

Key Stats

Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers: 34 points, 10 rebounds

Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets: 26 points, eight assists

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers: 20 points, 11 assists, six rebounds

Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets: 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, -29

Josh Richardson, Philadelphia 76ers: 15 points, three blocks

Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn Nets: 17 points, 10 rebounds

               

Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris Must Continue to Shine in Embiid’s Absence

Joel Embiid is Philadelphia’s best offensive player by a long shot, and his rim protection is also a huge loss that changes how the team defends. The Sixers can get by without him on the defensive end, however, given Al Horford‘s presence. 

But it’s on the offensive end where he’s tougher to replace. 

On Wednesday night, Simmons and Harris did their part, combining for 54 points and 14 assists. Simmons was the aggressor early, attacking the Nets at the basket and killing them in transition. Harris provided the dagger late, with 11 points in the fourth quarter. 

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The major concerns for the Sixers remain Simmons’ tendency to take his foot off the gas pedal offensively and the team’s lack of a perimeter closer. On Wednesday night, the Sixers showed how dangerous they can be even without Embiid when Simmons continues to attack offensively and Harris takes on the closer role late. 

The Sixers remain a work in progress. But if Harris and Simmons continue to play like they did on Wednesday night, they’ll be a major problem. 

             

Spencer Dinwiddie Feasts on Philly

Dinwiddie loves facing the Sixers. He was excellent yet again vs. Philly on Wednesday night. 

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Coming into Wednesday’s game, Dinwiddie was averaging 20 points a game against the Sixers in his past nine meetings between the teams, including last year’s playoffs. He put up statlines of 31 and 39 points against the Sixers in last year’s regular season and scored 24 against them in the first matchup between the teams this year. 

One of the concerns in the early-going after Irving’s return to action, meanwhile, was that Dinwiddie might temper his aggression. Dinwiddie has been excellent on the year, coming into the game averaging 22 points per contest. But in the past two games with Irving back in action, Dinwiddie was averaging just 12 points and 12 shots per game. 

That wasn’t an issue on Wednesday night, as Dinwiddie led the Nets in scoring and was incredibly efficient in the process, finishing 8-of-16 from the field. It was Irving who couldn’t find a rhythm on Wednesday, shooting 6-of-21 in the loss.

When the Nets get the two players clicking on the same night, they’ll be dangerous. For now, however, the Nets will take some solace in Dinwiddie getting back into his groove.  

                                              

What’s Next?

The Sixers host the Chicago Bulls on Friday evening at 7 p.m. ET, while the Nets host the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.

NBA News

via Bleacher Report – NBA https://ift.tt/2gMI6gF

January 15, 2020 at 07:03PM

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