NEW YORK -- The 76ers were slowed down in Brooklyn, 109-89, ending their five-game winning streak. Here are the takeaways from the game.
Transition game slowed down
With Joel Embiid out due to an upper respiratory illness, the Sixers were expected to play much faster. It didn’t happen while the Nets built up big leads. The Sixers trailed 57-43 at intermission and were outscored 15-2 on fast break points and 20-6 after three quarters when they trailed by 83-66. The Nets did a good job getting back on defense, but the Sixers also helped by making turnovers on some potential fast breaks or simply missing shots. One late third-quarter example was when Norvel Pelle blocked a dunk by the Nets’ DeAndre Jordan and then Ben Simmons missed a layup on the break.
The Sixers opened with Ben Simmons guarding the Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie, who entered the contest averaging 20.9 points. Dinwiddie is a threat driving to the basket or from the outside. His drives aren’t cat-quick, but more slicing and dicing. He uses picks as well as any player in the NBA and the Sixers had trouble stopping him after he was freed by a pick. Matisse Thybulle and James Ennis III also guarded him in the first half. Coach Brett Brown made an adjustment at halftime and put Josh Richardson on Dinwiddie. However, Richardson picked up his fourth foul with 10:08 left in the third quarter and had to go to the bench. When Richardson returned late in the third quarter, the Sixers were down by 16 points.
TLC makes his mark
Remember Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, a former first round draft choice of the Sixers? He has surfaced in Brooklyn and was playing just his fourth game for the Nets. In the first half, he was a difference maker with eight points in 10 minutes, and he was most effective driving to the basket, even though his calling card is his perimeter game. Luwawu-Cabarrot gave the Nets a major spark.
Trouble with the three
The Sixers were just 3 for 14 from three-point range in the first half and Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Josh Richardson were a combined 0 for 9. It was 4 for 21 after three quarters. Without Embiid and his ability to work inside, it was more crucial to get better production from three-point territory, but it didn’t happen.
For the second straight game, Brett Brown used Pelle as his first center off the bench instead of Kyle O’Quinn. Pelle brings energy and he has a knack for blocking or altering shots, but he also gets caught out of position, and only is helping on offense, with follow-up dunks. When either Embiid or Horford misses a game, the backup center becomes key.