One day after getting back in the win column with a come-from-behind victory over the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers return home for a quick turnaround with a Friday night against the visiting Brooklyn Nets.
Philadelphia trailed by eight or more for much of the matchup with the Knicks before turning it on with a 35-19 fourth quarter behind Joel Embiid, who had 29 points in the win, Philadelphia’s second in three games.
The other? The game will be a rematch of the two teams’ matchup last Sunday, which Philadelphia won 120-97.
“I think we’re learning,” 76ers coach Brett Brown told reporters after that game. “I feel these games, as much as we want to win and we do, we’re trying to move up the food chain, we’re trying to move up as far as we can.”
Embiid was impressed by his team’s defense against the Nets, and aggression.
“Energy. We were on lockdown,” Embiid said. “We locked in and we did a better job. We were aggressive rebounding the ball. We gave up less offensive rebounds.”
Brooklyn is coming off a 116-102 loss to the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night. D’Angelo Russell led all scorers with 32 points — his second straight game with at least 25 — and the Nets led at the half, but the Raptors went on a run behind Jonas Valanciunas and handed Brooklyn its third straight loss and 17th in its last 20 games.
“We just missed shots down the stretch,” Russell told reporters after he hit seven 3-pointers and scored 24 points in the first quarter. “I think if we make those shots it might be a different game.”
Russell has been a bit streaky of late, though he does have at least 20 points in three of Brooklyn’s last four games. Russell also had a 25-point showing and a 21-point game in recent weeks. He’s also had games of three, four, six, six and eight points.
On Tuesday, though, he was dominant, hitting 10 of 22 shots and 7 of 12 from 3-point range.
“My teammates got me open,” Russell said. “In transition, they found me. Maybe they made the extra pass to me. I give a lot of credit to them.”
“I just feel like we’ve got to treat every team like Golden State. When we came out ready to play, everybody stepped up,” Russell said. “It wasn’t 48 minutes, but we started the game and gave ourselves a chance. I feel like today we didn’t really give ourselves a chance.”
After the recent lost to Philadelphia, Russell at least saw some spark in his team.
“I just feel like we’ve got to treat every team like Golden State. When we came out ready to play, everybody stepped up,” Russell said after Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia. “It wasn’t 48 minutes, but we started the game and gave ourselves a chance. I feel like today we didn’t really give ourselves a chance.”
After the matchup, Philadelphia remains home for two more games against Charlotte and Memphis. Including the Nets, the 76ers play six of their next seven at home.
The Nets return home after the matchup for a three-game homestand beginning Saturday when they host the Dallas Mavericks