NEW YORK — Here's a stat for you: No NBA team has ever won a game in which they committed 28 or more turnovers while shooting 20 percent or less from three-point range.
That stat still holds true after the Sixers turned in a dismal performance in a 122-97 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night.
Though, the final box score doesn't tell the complete and ugly truth about Sunday's game. For that, you'll have to look at the box score through the first 42 minutes and 10 seconds of the Nets' blowout victory, when Brett Brown decided to sit his starters and throw in the towel.
The Sixers' regular rotation players sat down midway through the fourth quarter, and by then, they had already racked up 27 of their 28 turnovers and were shooting 17.6 percent from three. In truth, the best basketball the Sixers played was in garbage time, when they were only outscored 16-13 by Brooklyn.
"You can almost accept having the 4-for-20 from the three-point nights," Brown said after the game. "But that volume of turnovers, and you can't get Joel [Embiid] the ball. You're turning it over before you can get him the ball."
The turnovers caused such a domino effect for the Sixers that they were never able to establish any sort of offensive presence or rhythm. When Embiid, the central force behind everything the Sixers do, only takes eight shots — when he normally averages upwards of 20 per game — the Sixers are going to struggle.
When the offense wasn't humming and Embiid couldn't get any post touches before the Sixers coughed up another turnover, the team was forced to rush to get back on defense, where they were frustrated and sloppy.
Meanwhile, the Sixers' 28 turnovers were converted into 39 points for the Nets. Brooklyn was scoring often and efficiently off of the Sixers' mistakes, sucking the energy out of the offense where another turnover was soon to come, and a cruel spiral was born.
Here are some words the Sixers coach and players used to describe the effort on Sunday night: unacceptable, unexpected, soft, ashamed, poor, sucked. Following the game Brown expressed his disappointment to his players, hoping that Sunday's performance is an outlier.
"There's no witch-hunt, it's just the admittance of: This is what just happened," Brown said after the loss. "We will stay together and we will move on, but the truth is the truth."
Embiid, who was frustrated with the teams lack of ball movement and the fact that he couldn't get the touches he is accustomed to, said any and all blame for the loss should solely be placed on the players.
"The coaches don't control us taking shots and they don't control us turning the ball over," Embiid said. "That's none of their faults… it's on the players. We had a game plan and we should have gone out there and followed it and trusted it."