Thad Young had an unexpected return trip to the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.
And for the first time in three meetings, the power forward got a victory over his former team as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the 76ers, 94-87.
Young played a major part in the outcome, finishing with 21 points and nine rebounds. His hook shot with 1 minute, 19 seconds remaining clinched the game, giving the Nets a 93-85 cushion.
Rookie center Nerlens Noel paced the Sixers (15-51) with 17 points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots before fouling out with 28.1 seconds left.
But Young's heroics helped the Nets (26-38) snap their five-game losing streak.
During stretches in the fourth quarter, it sounded as if the game was being played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Nets fans were very vocal and even chanted, "Brooklyn! Brooklyn! Brooklyn!"
For Young, this was a good day to be back in Philly.
"It's always special to come back here since I spent the first seven years of my career here," he said. "I have a lot of relationships here. This is still like family to me, so every time I come back here it's always going to be special."
The Sixers traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves in August for Luc Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved, and a first-round pick. The Sixers swept the season series with the Timberwolves with victories at Minnesota on Dec. 3 and in Philadelphia on Jan. 30.
But Young, 26, got another crack at the Sixers when the Timberwolves traded him to Brooklyn before last month's trade deadline. On Saturday, he felt right at home.
The 12th overall pick by the Sixers in the 2007 NBA draft was the first player introduced before the game. Young received a loud ovation when announcer Matt Cord introduced him as if he were still with the Sixers.
"I didn't think I was coming back [again] this year," Young said before the game. "It happens. It's part of the business. You get traded. Things happen.
"The good thing is I got traded to Brooklyn. I'm back in the [Atlantic Division]."
And it appears that the 6-foot-8, 220-pounder, who has a player option, is leaning toward staying in Brooklyn after this season.
Young likes his new teammates. He also appreciates the Nets' style of play and being with a veteran group. He was surrounded by a lot of inexperienced players last season with the Sixers and earlier this year with the Timberwolves.
"It's one of those things where they want me for the future," Young said. "They want to keep me around. It's a mutual feeling and mutual relationship."
While focused on his situation, he pays attention to his former team's roster movement. Young said he wasn't surprised that the Sixers traded reigning rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams last month.
"This is kind of crazy how you can be the centerpiece of a team one year and you are off to the next team," Young said.
The Sixers were without Mbah a Moute (rest) and Furkan Aldemir (rib bruise).