Sixers 121, Nets 120: The Villain

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

For Evan Turner, there is a season.

Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young went berserk on a depleted Nets team as the Sixers won their fourth overtime game of the year, 121-120.

Evan Turner had his Jordan Shrug game, hitting his first eight field goals over the first quarter and a half and ending the game with 47 minutes played, 29 points and 10 rebounds, all game highs, to go with five assists. Despite being battered by Nets defenders and referees alike all night (he was called for five fouls, but only went to the line three times himself), Turner was imperious on the offensive end for long stretches, and down a point with seconds to go, Brett Brown called Turner's number twice. The first resulted in a block out of bounds, and with six seconds left, Turner inbounded the ball, got it back and rattled in a spiritually guided layup as the clock ran out to snap a seven-game losing streak. The Sixers improved to 8-19 on the season, 4-1 in overtime games.

The game was played at a solid allegro, but it was close the whole way--neither team led by more than nine points at any point. With Joe Johnson, Andrei Kirilenko, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry out, the Nets relied on ancillary players to lead the way. Alan Anderson led all Brooklyn players with 26 points, including five three-pointers. Mirza Teletovic had a bizarre offensive game, hitting 6 of 11 threes, but showing an iron-handed touch around the basket. Nevertheless, the Sixers were completely unable to guard the Nets’ spot-up shooters, particularly when Thaddeus Young wasn’t on the floor.

Speaking of which, Turner’s impressive game was accompanied by a Thad Young classic that was nearly as impressive--25 points on 18 shots including 3-for-3 from outside. If the three-pointer becomes a part of Young’s game long-term, he’ll be either an immensely attractive trade chip or a valuable stretch four going forward. Young only had six rebounds, but in a game where the two teams combined for 62 three-point attempts and the two starting centers were Brook Lopez and Spencer Hawes, it’s not particularly surprising that the only two players in double-digits for rebounds were swingmen.

And on a somewhat surprising note, Lavoy Allen put in a fairly impressive shift--24 minutes, 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and at least the appearance of not wanting to be anywhere else. Allen’s performance allowed the Sixers to rest Young and keep Brandon Davies (who, joy of joys, actually converted a dunk tonight) on the bench.

Michael Carter-Williams returned from his flesh-eating bacteria episode to key the Sixers on the defensive end, gobbling up three steals to go with 15 points and 10 assists on his return, though the rookie did miss an open go-ahead layup in the closing seconds of regulation.

In a season where, when the game gets more exciting, the Sixers seem to win more often, this might have been the most exhilarating finish yet. For the Nets' perspective, go check out NetsDaily.

Tomorrow, the Sixers start a six-game road trip in Milwaukee, where the Bucks, fresh off two straight overtime losses of their own, await.

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