The Philadelphia 76ers hosted the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night for their first home game of the season. After getting off to a red hot start with a notable victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night, the Sixers looked to capitalize on that momentum against the Eastern Conference favorites.
Everything started off right for the Sixers. Although the Nets kept it tight through the first quarter, the Sixers managed to get off to a 34-28 lead to start the matchup. After outscoring Brooklyn in the first two quarters, the Sixers had a 62-55 lead heading into halftime.
As expected, Brooklyn wasn't going to make life easy for the Sixers. As the Nets kept Kevin Durant in the game for the entire third quarter, he kept his team in the game by helping the Nets outscore the Sixers by one point before heading into the final quarter of the night.
Despite having a lead, home-court advantage, and all of the momentum through three quarters of action, the Sixers mirrored last year's second-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks at home on Friday night.
As they shot 26-percent from the field and 16-percent from three as a team in the final 12 minutes, the Sixers were outscored 29-18. Despite having the lead for the first 36 minutes of the game, the Sixers couldn't find a way to avoid a collapse. As they became stagnant, the 76ers dropped their second game of the season and took on a 114-109 loss to the Nets.
Now that we've analyzed the team's woes as a whole, how did each individual player perform versus the Nets on Friday?
At first, it seemed Danny Green was well on his way to having a solid bounce-back game. After taking just one shot on Wednesday and contributing zero points, Green had himself a solid first seven minutes of action on Friday as he drained two straight three-pointers for six points in the first quarter. Unfortunately, those six points were his only offensive contributions on Friday night. With zero assists, one rebound, five fouls, and a pair of air balls, Green had a memorable performance for the wrong reasons.
After getting off early on Wednesday, Harris had a lengthy shift on Friday as he checked in for 37 minutes. Making ten of his 20 shots, Harris finished the game with 23 points. Overall, his numbers looked good, but 19 of his points came in the first half. When the fourth quarter rolled around, Harris went 1-4 from the field. The Sixers needed him to step up late in the game, but Harris wasn't efficient when it mattered the most.
Friday wasn't the most dominant performance from Embiid on the offensive end. Going 6-15 from the field, the big man finished with just under 20 points. In the fourth quarter, he failed to collect a single bucket. On defense, Embiid was stellar as he snagged two steals and blocked four shots. For a guy that's battling knee soreness, Embiid was decent -- but he'll have to be better if the Sixers are going to rely on him to close out games for them.
Curry didn't shoot a lot on Wednesday, but he was highly efficient. On Friday, he remained consistent and increased his production. He drained nine of his 12 shots and was a perfect 4-4 from three. In 35 minutes of action, Curry tied Tobias Harris with a team-high of 23 points. Offensively, he remains sharp and needs to continue shooting at a high rate as he helps the Sixers offense a ton.
Maxey didn't have his best shooting night, but two things stood out. One, he took care of the ball once again. Running the Sixers' offense for 36 minutes, Maxey didn't turn the ball over once. Second, he embraced taking chances in crunch time. Although he had just five points in the fourth quarter, Maxey led the Sixers in shots taken. He'll need to be more efficient, but at least the young guard is showing a willingness to take risks when the team is searching for a closer.
The Turkish sharpshooter didn't heat up as he did in the first game, but he had the best outing out of anybody else coming off of the Sixers' bench. Shooting-wise, Korkmaz could've been a lot better. He drained just three field-goal attempts and went 1-4 from deep. Korkmaz looks as confident as ever on the floor, but he still needs to produce more consistently.
By grabbing ten boards, Drummond now has 27 rebounds on the season through two games. He also looked good on the defensive end by swatting two shots. Drummond didn't contribute much in the scoring department just like the rest of Philly's bench, but his passing remains impressive through two games.
So far, Thybulle looks like the same player as the previous two years through a pair of games. Defensively, he does his job, and he does it very well. Offensively, he hardly exists. In 23 minutes, Thybulle collected four points. A late-game alley-oop was an excellent highlight for the young guard, but he didn't have too many shining moments outside of that.
A strong preseason put Joe in Doc Rivers' primary rotation to start the year. His first game was a forgettable one. After the second, he's in the same boat. With just three minutes of playing time, Joe got just one shot up, which didn't go in. He'll need more time on the court to earn more shooting opportunities, but it seems he hasn't totally won Doc Rivers over at this time.
Niang struggled in his second outing with the Sixers. He was brought in to knock down threes off the bench. On Friday, he attempted five long-range shots. Only one went in. It was a rough night for Sixers shooters overall -- and Niang wasn't an exception.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.