The Sixers were on a mission tonight: they were not getting on another Amtrak to Brooklyn. The team started the game on a 14-0 run, en route to a 32-15 lead from which they never looked back. They won 122-100.
As has been the case since assembling this iteration of the 2018-19 Sixers, the starters were absolutely dominant tonight. Led by Joel Embiid, who had 23 and 13 boards in 20 minutes, the unit was able to chill for much of the second half altogether. Just look at these +/- numbers:
Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler: plus-31
JJ Redick: plus-33
Ben Simmons: plus-34
Simmons, particularly, stood out on the defensive end. Ever since his disastrous Game 1, Ben asserted himself on both ends, enveloping Nets star D’Angelo Russell all series. Tonight, Russell went 3-of-16 from the field en route to a minus-31 performance.
Nets irritant Jared Dudley did not score a point tonight, as the Philly faithful roundly booed the forward on every touch.
The game wasn’t without some (light) fireworks, however! With 1:50 left in the game, Jonah Bolden and Rodions Kurucs got entangled underneath the Nets’ rim and went nose-to-nose. The officials decided to eject Bolden, Kurucs, Dzanan Musa, and Greg Monroe (who also got into it).
The Sixers couldn’t have hoped for a more encouraging performance off of which to enter the second round against the Toronto Raptors. A tall task lies ahead, as the team will head to T-Dot (either Saturday or Sunday) to kickoff round 2 on the road against Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry.