Even though they fell to the undermanned Brooklyn Nets, give the perpetually undermanned Sixers some credit: They never gave up until the bitter end of Monday's 108-102 loss. For whatever reason, though, the Sixers really stumbled out of the gate in the first and third quarters.
To start the game, the Sixers trailed 16-2 and forced Brett Brown to call two early timeouts. Amazingly, they were able to completely erase that deficit and build a six-point lead at one point in the second quarter. Out of the halftime break, the Nets slapped together a 24-5 run, which seemingly put the game out of reach.
But the Sixers kept fighting, and on a night where they coughed up the basketball a season-high 25 times, it was only a two-point game with 22 seconds to go. At that point, the Nets were able to close the game out by knocking down their free throws and tightly guarding the three-point line.
- Michael Carter-Williams largely struggled tonight, but found a way to scratch out a somewhat efficient line of 21 points on 6-17 shooting from the field and 6-7 shooting from the line. A few times late in the game, he challenged Kevin Garnett on drives and was soundly turned away on those occasions.
- Tony Wroten (18 points, 6-8 shooting, 6-9 FTs) largely put on a show for the Brooklynites. It's great to see when the second-year guard's hyper-speed forays into the lane — He routinely drew oohs and aahs from the Barclays Center crowd — result in effective basketball.
- Mirza Teletovic was the main beneficiary of the Sixers' porous three-point defense. Too much dribble penetration and poor rotations allowed Teletovic to tee off from the three-point line. The dude can shoot, and he made five of his nine wide-open shots from behind the arc.
- Jay-Z and Beyonce sat in courtside seats next to Russell Wilson (first half) and Young Jeezy (second half). Malik Rose made a prescient point when he commented that it would probably behoove Wilson's agent to get him on the phone. Who knows, maybe that's why he left at halftime?
- There was a hilarious moment earlier in the game where Brett Brown interfered with a ball sailing out of bounds that Nets guard Shaun Livingston was clearly going to get his hands on. He then proceeded to argue the resulting technical foul call.
- Classic "Hammer" set by Brown late fourth quarter to free James Anderson in the corner from three. It's been really fun this season to watch so much Spursian stuff on offense.
- Livingston threw down a couple of highlight reel dunks, which has become the norm for him lately. It's nice to see him excel athletically even after he suffered that gruesome injury a few years ago. Terrific perseverance by him, and really an amazing example of modern medicine at work.