Sixers knock off Nets as Saric scores 23
NEW YORK - This was a hard-fought, bounce-back game for the 76ers. Two nights after being hammered by the Indiana Pacers, the Sixers posted a 106-101 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday at the Barclays Center.
NEW YORK - This was a hard-fought, bounce-back game for the 76ers.
Two nights after being hammered by the Indiana Pacers, the Sixers posted a 106-101 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday at the Barclays Center.
The victory enabled the Sixers (28-46) to win the first three meetings with Brooklyn (16-58). The teams play their fourth and final game on April 4 at the Wells Fargo Center.
"Any time you can get a win on the road, we will take it," T.J. McConnell said. "And the way that we played against Indiana was laughable. So, yeah, I would say it's a good bounce-back game."
The Nets were a far different team from their previous meetings with the Sixers on Dec. 18 and Jan. 8. Back then, they were a team dealing with injuries and trying to find an identity.
But they headed into Tuesday's game winners of three of their last four matchups. That's why the Sixers are cherishing this victory.
Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot the led the charge before Richaun Holmes and McConnell helped to secure the victory from the foul line.
McConnell hit a pair of foul shots to give the Sixers a 104-101 lead with 53.5 seconds left. Then Holmes added two more with 7.0 seconds left, giving his team its five-point margin of victory.
But before that, it was the Covington and Saric show.
Saric scored 14 of his team-high 23 points in the first half. It was the 23rd time in 24 games in which the rookie-of-the-year favorite scored at least 10 points. He was held to nine points on 3-for-15 shooting against the Pacers on Sunday.
Saric made 8 of 15 shots Tuesday and produced his 14th 20-point game of the season. He also had seven rebounds.
Covington had 21 points, a game-high 13 rebounds, one assist, two steals and two blocks. And Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Brook Lopez paced the Nets with a game-high 26 points to go with nine rebounds. He also had six assists and two blocks. Chester's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 11 points and seven rebounds against his hometown Sixers. Jeremy Lin had 11 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
The night was also highlighted by Tiago Splitter's return to the court.
This was Sixers post player's first NBA game since he was an Atlanta Hawk on Jan. 31, 2016, followed by season-ending right hip surgery. The Sixers acquired him in a trade on Feb. 22.
"After 13 months and some days, being on the court is something special," said Splitter, who had been dealing with a right calf strain this season. "I'm very happy. It's a happy day for me."
His rust was also obvious. He finished with two points and three rebounds in 7 minutes, 23 seconds. Splitter came in with 2:16 left in the first quarter and scored his lone basket 17 seconds later.
"I didn't expect [it]. I was by myself," Splitter said of layup. "I was like, 'OK. I'm going to lay it in.' "
On this night, the Sixers had only nine available players.
Jahlil Okafor remained out because of right knee soreness. Gerald Henderson missed the game with soreness in his left hip. And the Sixers learned Tuesday that Sergio Rodriguez will miss a week with left-hamstring tightness.
Okafor missed his third consecutive game and 10th overall because of a sore knee. Henderson was held out because he no longer plays in both games on back-to-back nights. He's expected to play Wednesday against the Hawks at the Wells Fargo Center.
Sixers coach Brett Brown said he doesn't know when Okafor will return. However, he wouldn't say that the big man was completely shut down for the season. The Sixers have eight games left.