Nets takeaways from Saturday’s Game 1 loss to 76ers, including Philly raining three-pointers

Apr 15, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during the second quarter of game one of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets won five of their last seven games to finish the regular season, but lost 121-101 in Game 1 of their first-round series with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Here are the takeaways…

Mikal Bridges had his coming out party in the series opener, scoring 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting. After playing like an All-Star since being traded from the Phoenix Suns for Kevin Durant, the question was how he would look in the postseason. Bridges had 23 of those points in the first half, but just seven of those points came after halftime.

– Brooklyn had their eyes on Joel Embiid. Philadelphia’s MVP candidate was doubled by Brooklyn every time he caught the ball inside the three-point line. Even with all the extra pressure, Embiid managed to record 26 points, five rebounds and two blocks.

– The Nets stayed close with Philadelphia in the opening quarter, trailing 30-25 after one period. The 76ers had seven offensive rebounds in the first quarter.

– The Nets pulled within three points with 4:28 in the second quarter but Tobias Harris and Embiid combined for a 7-0 run to take a 10-point lead. James Harden made three trifectas in the final 2:20 of the half to help Philadelphia maintain a 67-58 lead at the half. Philadelphia made 13 threes in the first half.

– The Nets stayed in the game until the late third, when Philadelphia took a 93-81 lead at the end of the quarter. Sixers reserve Paul Reed led a run in the fourth quarter to allow Philadelphia to build a 103-83 lead early in the fourth quarter.

– Philadelphia set a new franchise record for made threes in a playoff game with 21. This was also a season-high for the team. Thanks to Brooklyn’s aggressive trap defense on Embiid and some transition opportunities, Philadelphia was able to move the ball with ease and find open shooters throughout the game. The 76ers shot 50 percent from behind the arc.

– The possession battle was won by Philadelphia. Though they shot a lesser percentage, the 76ers attempted 19 more shots than Brooklyn. Philadelphia had nine more offensive rebounds and 11 less turnovers than the Nets.

– Brooklyn shot 39-of-70 from the field (55.7 percent) and 13-of-29 from the three-point line (44.8 percent) but turned the ball over 19 times.

– Outside of Bridges, the Nets couldn’t find much help. Cameron Johnson knocked down four three-pointers and was second in scoring with 18 points.

– The Nets struggled to contain Harden, who was effective on the perimeter, scoring 23 points and handing out 13 assists. The Sixers star shot 8-of-21 overall but made seven threes. Harris had several key plays on his way to 21 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Spencer Dinwiddie struggled offensively, scoring just 14 points on 5-of-12 from the field.

– The Nets stuck to a nine-man rotation for much of the game, before going deeper into the bench when the game was already decided. Brooklyn’s bench scored 28 points. Seth Curry led the reserves with 10 points and two three-pointers in 16 minutes.


What’s next

The Nets and Sixers play Game 2 of their series Monday, April 17 at 7:30 in Philadelphia.

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