Philadelphia 76ers Back on Track with a Win vs. Brooklyn Nets
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- As of late, the Philadelphia 76ers haven't been playing inspiring basketball. Over the last eight games, the Sixers have only managed to come away with two wins along with six losses. Funny enough, the two victories occurred at home, while all of the defeats went down on the road.
On Monday, the Sixers returned to South Philly for the first time since last Thursday. They were set to match up with the Brooklyn Nets for the second time this season. Except for this time around, the Nets had their star guard, Kyrie Irving, healthy and available.
Fortunately, Brett Brown's strategy to play his rookie guard, Matisse Thybulle on Irving, worked out well as the 76ers kept the Nets' guard in check, holding him to only 14 points. However, the known Sixers killer, Spencer Dinwiddie, kept Brooklyn afloat and helped the Nets engage in a shootout with the Sixers.
Throughout the entire matchup, the Sixers and the Nets kept it close. With 12 lead changes, it became evident Wednesday's matchup was going to come down to the wire. Once again, Sixers' point guard Ben Simmons was off to a hot start, playing aggressive on both sides of the ball just as he did the last two matchups.
While he avoided a third-straight disappearing act in the second half, Simmons still wasn't nearly aggressive as he was during the first two-quarters of the game. Thankfully for the Sixers, though, they had their other max superstar, Tobias Harris, come in and play the role of a closer.
In total, Simmons and Harris combined for 54 points on offense, helping their team achieve a 117-106 victory over Brooklyn. After two frustrating losses on the road, Tobias Harris felt a sense of relief after closing out Wednesday's game with the Nets. "It felt great," Harris said following the game.
"We want to go out each and every night, and we want to win every game we can. So when we do fall short of wins, it's disappointing for us. Just to get out there and get tonight's win, and play good as a team, was big for us. We just gotta keep that rolling."
The Sixers will take the court again on Friday night, as they welcome the 14-27 Chicago Bulls to Philly for the first time this year. That's when the 76ers will look to try and pick up their 27th win of the season.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_