Feb 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic (3) goes to the basket against Brooklyn Nets defenders during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Feb 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic (3) goes to the basket against Brooklyn Nets defenders during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

NEW YORK (AP) Anthony Davis had 44 points and 17 rebounds, Rajon Rondo had a triple-double, and the New Orleans Pelicans recovered after blowing a 28-point lead to beat the Brooklyn Nets 138-128 in two overtimes on Saturday night. >> Read more

Rondo finished with 25 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds as the Pelicans snapped a three-game losing streak. Nikola Mirotic had 21 points and 16 boards, and Jrue Holiday chipped in 22 points.

Allen Crabbe made eight 3-pointers and scored 28 points for the Nets, who have lost their last four games.

Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in 24 points and 10 rebounds, and D'Angelo Russell came off the bench with 21 points and nine assists. >> Read more

Copyright 2018 by the Associated Press

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Nov 21, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the team logo on the shorts of Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (6) as he warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Nov 21, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the team logo on the shorts of Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (6) as he warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

One of the key architects behind the Nets' rebuild has left the building. 

Former Brooklyn assistant general manager Trajan Langdon was hired Sunday by the Pelicans to serve as the team's general manager. In New Orleans, he will work alongside president of basketball operations David Griffin

Throughout the offseason, he was seen as a fit in several front office openings, and ultimately landed with the Pelicans. Langdon is one of the Nets' brain trust who was lauded this past year for constructing a roster that went through a relatively quick rebuild and earned the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference this year. 

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May 12, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler (23) dribbles the ball against Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) in game seven of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
May 12, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler (23) dribbles the ball against Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) in game seven of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

The Nets are going to be "aggressive" this summer, as Sean Marks stated. If they can't land one of the top prizes like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, it appears they'll have a good shot at someone in the next tier.

According to the New York Post, Brooklyn has a "very real chance" to sign Jimmy Butler away from the 76ers.

The report says it's believed Butler likes the culture that is being built in Brooklyn.

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May 12, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) watches his game winning basket go in against the Philadelphia 76ers during game seven of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Toronto defeated Philadelphia. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
May 12, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) watches his game winning basket go in against the Philadelphia 76ers during game seven of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Toronto defeated Philadelphia. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Things can change quickly in the NBA, but the general consensus around the league at the moment is that neither the Knicks nor the Nets have a strong chance to sign Kawhi Leonard in free agency.

As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski has reported, the Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors are seen as the strongest suitors for Leonard.

But it seems logical that both New York teams could at least get a meeting with Leonard in early July. Before Leonard's trade demand from San Antonio became public last June, people around Leonard had talked about New York as an attractive destination for the two-time Defensive Player of the Year.

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Apr 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) reacts after making a three point shot against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) reacts after making a three point shot against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Knicks aren't the only team in town with designs on a big offseason. As Brooklyn GM Sean Marks said last month, the Nets will be "aggressive" this summer to improve the roster after their rebuild took a big step forward in 2018-19 by making the playoffs. And sources told SNY contributor Anthony Puccio that marquee free agents like Kevin Durant will at least consider the Nets as a possible new home.

But as noted by The Athletic's Michael Scotto, a wrench could be thrown into the Nets' plans if a team in need of a point guard signs restricted free agent D'Angelo Russell to an offer sheet early in free agency.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Indiana Pacers
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Brooklyn Nets forward Allen Crabbe shoots for a basket over Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard in the second half at Scotiabank Arena. (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets forward Allen Crabbe shoots for a basket over Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard in the second half at Scotiabank Arena. (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)

Nets guard Allen Crabbe will exercise his $18.5 million player option for the 2019-20 season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Crabbe, 27, averaged 9.6 points and 3.4 rebounds in 43 games with Brooklyn last season, missing the final month of the regular season and its postseason series with the 76ers due to arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

With Crabbe opting in, the Nets will have approximately $54.6 million in potential cap space this offseason, according to Spotrac.

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Apr 23, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) against the Philadelphia 76ers in game five of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Apr 23, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) against the Philadelphia 76ers in game five of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

With the Nets season over, players normally return to their families or hometowns to take a break from the grind. But PG D'Angelo Russell found himself in a predicament trying to do so. 

Russell was detained at LaGuardia Airport when a luggage search on his checked bag showed he was in possession of a "small amount of marijuana," per USA TODAY's A.J. Perez.

The 23-year-old was questioned by police after they had found an Arizona Iced Tea can that had a secret compartment holding the marijuana. He was released on Wednesday night following the incident, but received a summons to appear in court for marijuana possession. Russell still flew to his hometown Louisville, Kentucky that night. 

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Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant reacts after making a basket against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant reacts after making a basket against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

Entering the summer of 2019, Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks has every reason to say "checkmate" to those who doubted his vision for the organization when he took over in 2016. He refused to skip steps or make a splash move to accelerate the rebuild. He was going for "singles" and "doubles" as opposed to swinging for the fences when he didn't have enough juice to hit one.

But now, following a playoff tussle in Year Three of the rebuild, Marks has put himself in a position where free agents might approach the Kiwi GM with their own way of saying, "Check, mate?"

Several league sources have told SNY that top-tier free agents, including Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Tobias Harris, will at least consider Brooklyn this upcoming July when it's time to find their next home - if they decide to leave.

Tags: Allen Crabbe, Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll
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All the talk about this summer's NBA free agency has been centered around the Knicks and their ability to add two max free agents. But how might the Nets impact their plans?

Brooklyn GM Sean Marks said in a letter Thursday, shared by NetsDaily, that the Nets will be "active and aggressive" this offseason in an effort to improve the roster after a surprising season in which they finished 42-40 to earn the Eastern Conference's No. 6 seed in the playoffs, seemingly accelerating their rebuild.

Tags: Allen Crabbe, D'Angelo Russell
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Feb 13, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) celebrates with forward Joe Harris (12) snf forward DeMarre Carroll (9) in the third overtime against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports (David Richard)
Feb 13, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) celebrates with forward Joe Harris (12) snf forward DeMarre Carroll (9) in the third overtime against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports (David Richard)

Coming off of a 28-win campaign last season, the Brooklyn Nets had low expectations. The steady development of young players in Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen seemed more important than wins.

The season seemed to head that way on Dec. 5. After a game-winning three pointer by Oklahoma City's Paul George knocked off Brooklyn, the Nets fell to 8-18. Mired in an eight-game losing streak, Brooklyn found themselves with the fourth worst record in the East - behind the New York Knicks.

But Brooklyn instantly turned their season around, winning nine of their next 10 games. From that point, the Nets were one of the better teams in the East, ending up with a 34-22 record in their final 56 games. Even with LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie out for lengthy periods with injury, the Nets finished sixth in the East with a 42-40 record.

Tags: Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Apr 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) reacts after making a three point shot against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) reacts after making a three point shot against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Sean Marks spoke to reporters at his summer press conference where he tempered expectations but coined a phrase that would stick throughout the season.

"We have [this] year to prepare for summer of 2019."

The conference was Marks extolling expectations for the season in an optimistic way. Everybody knew the Nets could potentially clear enough cap space for two max players -- depending on the moves they make. But nobody expected the team to make the playoffs this season. 

Something the Knicks can't say.

Tags: Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Apr 23, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler (23) shoots over Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (6) during the second quarter in game five of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Apr 23, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler (23) shoots over Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (6) during the second quarter in game five of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

The Nets couldn't mount a comeback in this First Round series, as the 76ers blew them out off in Philadelphia, 122-100, in Game 5 on Tuesday night. >> Box score

Seven things to know about Tuesday's game...

1) Joel Embiid was once again the Sixers' leading scorer and he only saw 20 minutes of work in the game. He had 23 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double, and collected two assists and one steal as well. He was 9-for-18 shooting as he continued to stay efficient.

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Scott Thompson
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Apr 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) loses the ball against Philadelphia 76ers defender during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) loses the ball against Philadelphia 76ers defender during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Joel Embiid's left knee will be a question for the Philadelphia 76ers for the duration of their playoff run, but when he is on the floor, things go extremely well.

Embiid's presence is among the reasons why the 76ers are on the verge of advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals. And they have a shot to do just that Tuesday night when they host the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 of their first-round series.

Philadelphia is attempting to reach the semifinals in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1999-2001 during the peak years of coach Larry Brown and Allen Iverson, a stretch that culminated in getting to the NBA Finals in 2001.

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Nets focus on Game 5 00:01:28
The Nets comment on staving off playoff elimination in tomorrow's Game 5 vs the 76ers

The Nets trail the 76ers 3-1 in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals heading into Game 5 on Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

And they know what they need to do to stave off elimination.

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Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen loses the ball against Philadelphia 76ers defender during the second half at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen loses the ball against Philadelphia 76ers defender during the second half at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The NBA admitted it missed a foul call on Nets forward Jarrett Allen late in Brooklyn's Game 4 loss to the 76ers on Saturday.

Allen lost control of the ball and turned it over with under 10 seconds to play and the Nets only down 110-108.

However, in the league's last two minute report, the NBA said it should have called a foul on 76ers forward Tobias Harris when he wrapped his around Allen, restricting his freedom of movement, as Allen drove into three Philadelphia players with 12 seconds remaining.

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That's one costly entrance for Sean Marks.  

The Brooklyn general manager was suspended one game without pay and fined $25,000 for entering the referees' locker room after Game 4, a 112-108 loss for the Nets. 

Marks is expected to serve the suspension Tuesday during Game 5. The series between the Nets and Sixers is currently tied at 2-2, with the action heading back to Philadelphia. 

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Many expected tensions to flare up in Game 3 of the Nets-Sixers series in Brooklyn, but Game 4 was went the trash talk from both sides boiled over. 

Jared Dudley and Jimmy Butler were ejected from the contest after a skirmmish in the third quarter that saw both benches clear to break it up. But the scuffle didn't end the feud. 

Embiid commented on what happened after the Sixers picked up the win, and made sure to answer the question first by calling Dudley "a nobody."

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers
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76ers fight past Nets in Game 4 00:01:59
In a heated affair, the 76ers got 31 points from Joel Embiid and took a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Nets with a 112-108 victory

Tensions were high in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon, but the heat of the moment didn't work in the home team's favor. The Nets were up for most of the second half, but they couldn't close out the 76ers in a 112-108 loss in Game 4 of this First Round matchup. >> Box score

Five things to know about Saturday's game...

1) There was a point in the second half when the Nets were leading for 23 straight minutes. However, the Sixers eventually took the lead with a Joel Embiid layup with 2:54 remaining. From there, the Nets and 76ers traded buckets with D'Angelo Russell draining a three with 1:26 remaining to regain the lead. But Mike Scott hit the eventual game-winner, a dagger three in the corner. On the ensuing possession, Russell found Jarrett Allen on the pick-and-roll, and he would've had a clear lane to the rim if he caught the pass cleanly. Instead, the ball was fumbled and Allen was swarmed by Sixers, who took it away. 

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell
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Apr 13, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) glances in the direction of the Brooklyn Nets bench during a break in the third quarter in game one of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Apr 13, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) glances in the direction of the Brooklyn Nets bench during a break in the third quarter in game one of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The 76ers are listing All-Star Joel Embiid as doubtful for Saturday's Game 4 against the Nets because of a lingering left knee issue, according to reports. 

Embiid played in the first two games of the series but sat out Game 3 Thursday night in Brooklyn. It didn't hurt the Sixers as Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris dominated in Philadelphia's 131-115 victory as the Sixers took a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

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76ers overpower Nets 00:02:07
Playing without Joel Embiid, the 76ers got a combined 86 points from Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons and J.J. Redick to take a 2-1 series lead

Even though the 76ers didn't have Joel Embiid for Game 3 because of a left knee injury, the Nets couldn't keep pace with the 76ers in a 131-115 Game 3 loss in Brooklyn Thursday night. The Nets now trail the first-round series, 2-1. >> Box score

Five things to know about Thursday's game

1) After trailing by six at halftime, the 76ers opened up an 18-point lead in the third quarter before the Nets closed the third on a 14-3 run. They got to within six in the fourth but the Sixers took control down the stretch.

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell
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Apr 15, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) rest on the scorers table during the second quarter in game two of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Apr 15, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) rest on the scorers table during the second quarter in game two of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

76ers star Joel Embiid, who isn't playing in Game 3 Thursday night against the Nets because of his lingering left knee issue, said before the game that he apoogized to Jarrett Allen for elbowing him in the face and think the elbow could've warranted a Flagrant 2.

"I probably should've been ejected," Embiid said.

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, Jarrett Allen
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Apr 15, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) shoots a foul shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the second quarter in game two of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Apr 15, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) shoots a foul shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the second quarter in game two of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Nets and 76ers have developed a budding rivalry in this first round of the NBA Playoffs.

It started with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons laughing about the former's flagrant elbow to Nets center Jarrett Allen, and Jared Dudley followed up by saying Simmons is "average." And Simmons continued the feud by answering Dudley's comments this morning, saying "That's coming from Jared Dudley, cmon man."

All of this trash talk has come in only two days since both teams have touched the court. And now it looks like Nets fans will have the last laugh before Game 3...

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Apr 15, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) drives past Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler (23) during the second quarter in game two of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Apr 15, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) drives past Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler (23) during the second quarter in game two of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Nets will play their first home playoff game in four years. Not much went right for Brooklyn in Game 2 except Spencer Dinwiddie's 19-point effort.

But the Nets took back homecourt advantage with the split. In the playoffs, that's a huge achievement.

"We go back to Brooklyn," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "The old story, if you would have told us before we're splitting here in Philly, I think we'd be happy. But I'm not pleased with the way we presented ourselves. We were below average, quite honestly."

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, D'Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons dribbles against Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley during the second quarter in Game 1 of the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons dribbles against Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley during the second quarter in Game 1 of the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

76ers forward Ben Simmons fired back at the Nets' Jared Dudley after Brooklyn's forward criticized him.

"Ben Simmons is a great player in transition," Dudley said of Simmons. "And once you get him into half court, he's average."

Simmons' response, via the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey: "That's coming from Jared Dudley, come on."

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Nets ready for Game 3 at home 00:01:08
New York Nets center Jarrett Allen was elbowed by Joel Embiid in Game 2, Nets players express their opinions on the matter.

In Game 2 of this First Round matchup between the Nets and 76ers, Joel Embiid hit Jarrett Allen with a nasty elbow that was deemed a flagrant one. But when asked about it post game, Embiid and Ben Simmons chuckled as the big man tried to answer the question. 

As one would expect, the Nets didn't think highly of that reaction. 

Veteran forward Jared Dudley was the most outspoken of the Nets, and he didn't hold back during media availability at practice on Wednesday.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Scott Thompson
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Apr 13, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) reacts to his bench during a break in the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers in game one of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Apr 13, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) reacts to his bench during a break in the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers in game one of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Nets' 145-123 Game 2 loss against the 76ers on Monday night may not have been pretty, but they head back home to Brooklyn with a split series and a chance to capitalize on home-court advantage. 

It is the first playoff basketball game in Brooklyn in four years, except this time there is a different look surrounding the team with young stars such as D'Angelo Russell at the helm. 

"We're very excited," he said, per Greg Logan of Newsday. "I know the Barclays Center is going to be jumping. We're excited about getting back home and taking care of home court. The buzz around the city is what we need. We need that atmosphere. We need that intensity to be up like that."

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Sixers rout Nets, tie series 00:01:31
The 76ers responded to their Game 1 loss with by blowing out the Nets, 145-123, to even their series at 1-1

The Nets allowed 51 points in the third quarter en route to a 145-123 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Monday at Wells Fargo Center. >> Box score

Five things to know about Monday's game

1) Despite trailing 65-64 at halftime, the 76ers started the third on a 21-2 run capped by a Ben Simmons basket that put Philadelphia up 86-66. Overall, the 76ers outscored Brooklyn 51-23, scoring the most points in a quarter in NBA playoff history.

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley dribbles past Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid during the fourth quarter in Game 1 of the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley dribbles past Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid during the fourth quarter in Game 1 of the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

Nets forward Jared Dudley will not play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the 76ers on Monday due to right calf tightness, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Dudley scored four points and recorded four assists in Saturday's 111-102 win, as Brooklyn outscored Philadelphia by 16 points when he was on the floor.

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers
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Apr 13, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) reacts to a score against the Philadelphia 76ers during the third quarter in game one of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Apr 13, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) reacts to a score against the Philadelphia 76ers during the third quarter in game one of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Back in the postseason for the first time since 2015, the Brooklyn Nets defended well, produced plenty of offense and flustered the Philadelphia 76ers at times in Game 1.

On Monday night in Philadelphia, the sixth-seeded Nets look to follow up a strong performance while the third-seeded Sixers hope to bounce back and level the Eastern Conference first-round series.

A Nets win would mark the first time they went up 2-0 in a series since sweeping the New York Knicks in the opening round of the 2004 postseason.

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell
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Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers guard Shake Milton during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers guard Shake Milton during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

Kenny Atkinson walked out of a quiet locker room and into a small press conference area with a handful of reporters. Brooklyn's head coach was in near tears having witnessed a gruesome right foot injury to his 24-year-old rising star and development poster boy, Caris LeVert. He did the best he could to answer questions, but they weren't really answers.

No timetables. No clue what was going to happen next for a kid who already endured three surgeries.

But then he finished with a powerful statement, a true testament showing how much he believes in his young prodigy.

"I just know Caris," he said, "like if anybody's coming back from this [it's him]. Knowing the human, the character, the person, the player … he'll come back from this."

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Nets focus on Game 2 00:02:24
Head coach Kenny Atkinson and forward Joe Harris talk about winning Game 1 and adjustments they'll have to be ready to make in Game 2

The Nets stunned the Sixers in Game 1 of the first round Saturday in an impressive showing

"From our perspective, I give us a B, B+," Brooklyn head coach Kenny Atkinson said. "Game 2, we need an 'A'. We all know it. It doesn't take a sports psychologist to know that we have to ramp it up." 

Nets guard Joe Harris said the success in Game 1 could be attributed to the adjustments the team made, which were more than they normally did during the regular season. 

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Winter is here.

With Game of Thrones set to return Sunday for its eighth and final season, New York athletes gave their predictions and talked about theories for how the saga will end.

Click below...

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Apr 13, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) glances in the direction of the Brooklyn Nets bench during a break in the third quarter in game one of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Apr 13, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) glances in the direction of the Brooklyn Nets bench during a break in the third quarter in game one of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The 76ers announced that they fined Amir Johnson for using his cell phone on the bench during Philadelphia's Game 1 loss to the Nets on Saturday.

"The 76ers organization has fined Amir Johnson for conduct detrimental to the team," GM Elton Brand said in a statement. "I have addressed the matter with Amir directly and he understands why his actions were unacceptable. We are moving forward together with our full focus now on Game 2."

"I apologize for having my phone on the bench in today's game," Johnson said in a statement. "I take full responsibility and will accept the consequences of my actions. I also apologize to my teammates, the 76ers organization and the fans for the distraction this has caused."

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers
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Nets take Game 1 from Sixers 00:02:06
Head coach Kenny Atkinson saw his Nets bench outscore the 76ers bench 59-26, as Brooklyn took the opener of their playoff series, 111-102.

The Nets took control late in the first quarter and held the lead the rest of the way, causing the boo-birds to rain down in Philly as Brooklyn upset the 76ers on Saturday, 111-102, to take Game 1. >> Box score

Five things to know about Saturday's game

1) Brooklyn used an incredible 20-1 run to take a 39-23 lead in the second quarter. After trailing by three, the Nets closed the first quarter on a 12-0 run over the final 2:30. The Sixers would get to within two in the third quarter, but that's as close as they'd get.

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Nov 20, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) dribbles the ball against the Miami Heat during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Nov 20, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) dribbles the ball against the Miami Heat during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Philadelphia 76ers will open the 2019 NBA playoffs at home on Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets, but All-Star center Joel Embiid remains questionable with a sore left knee.

Embiid missed 14 of the final 24 games in the regular season with a combination of knee soreness and load management.

Still, the 76ers won 51 games thanks in large part to several trades by general manager Elton Brand.

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Mar 28, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) is defended by Brooklyn Nets forward Ed Davis (17) during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Mar 28, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) is defended by Brooklyn Nets forward Ed Davis (17) during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

The Nets and 76ers kick off their First Round matchup in the NBA Playoffs this Saturday, and Philadelphia is likely to be without one of their key starters in Joel Embiid

The Sixers listed the All-Star center as doubtful for the contest, per The Athletic's Derek Bodner. Embiid has been dealing with left knee soreness, and his status for the start of the playoffs has been a big question for Philly for some time now. 

If Embiid is deemed out officially, it would be a big break for the Nets down around the rim. Jarrett Allen would have to go up against Boban Marjanovic, another very physical center. However, Marjanovic doesn't have the offensive versatility Embiid possesses, as the latter can score anywhere on the floor. 

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, Jarrett Allen
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The Brooklyn Nets were a pleasant surprise this season. Expected to finish out of the playoffs, Brooklyn managed a 14-game win improvement from the previous season and finished 42-40, earning the sixth seed in the East.

In their first playoff appearance in four years, the Nets will head down the New Jersey Turnpike to face the 51-31 Philadelphia 76ers. In the regular season, the Nets faced the Sixers in four games and split the season series 2-2. Just one of these games - a 123-110 Sixers win on March 28 - has featured Philadelphia's fully updated roster following the Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris in-season trades.

Can the upstart Nets make some noise in the playoffs? Here are some key factors to the Nets' first round playoff matchup.

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, D'Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade (3) posts up against Brooklyn Nets guard Treveon Graham (21) in the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade (3) posts up against Brooklyn Nets guard Treveon Graham (21) in the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

NEW YORK (AP) Dwyane Wade capped his career in style, with one last triple-double before heading off to retirement.

The Brooklyn Nets' destination is Philadelphia, where they are headed as the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Wade had 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in his final NBA game, which the Nets won by beating the Miami Heat 113-94 on Wednesday night to finish their remarkable turnaround at 42-40. >> Read More

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Mar 2, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (left) exchange jerseys with Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (right) after their game at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Mar 2, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (left) exchange jerseys with Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (right) after their game at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Brooklyn (41-40) will face either third-seeded Philadelphia or second-seeded Toronto in the first round of the playoffs. The Nets are even with Orlando but own the head-the-head tiebreaker and would finish sixth with a win or if the Magic lose Wednesday at Charlotte.

The Nets are in this position because of what unfolded in a challenging road back-to-back set. After getting a five-point win at Milwaukee on Saturday, Brooklyn led most of the way and celebrated clinching a playoff berth with a 108-96 victory at Indiana on Sunday.

"To be honest, it is a big moment for us and a big moment for the organization, from where we've come from in the last couple of years, the improvement that we've had individually and collectively," Nets guard Joe Harris said at practice Tuesday. "Just to clinch a playoff spot, it's a big moment for the organization for sure, and we're all very happy. But at the same time, we still have Miami left to finish out the year the right way, and we still want to make some noise in the playoffs and make it competitive." >> Read More

 

Tags: Miami Heat
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Apr 9, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson speaks to the media before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)
Apr 9, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson speaks to the media before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)

Among the many things Magic Johnson had to say Tuesday night as he announced his stunning resignation as Lakers president, he addressed the emergence of D'Angelo Russell as an All-Star for the Nets. 

Russell, whom the Lakers selected No. 2 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, was traded by Johnson to the Nets in June of 2017.

"We had to give up a really talented young player in D'Angelo Russell. And congratulations to him," Johnson said during his impromptu press conference. "We saw D'Angelo mature. He wasn't mature like he is now. He always had the talent to score, but he was immature. And now he's grown up, and that's why he's an All-Star."

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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Apr 6, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) talks with guard Treveon Graham (21) during the first half at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Apr 6, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) talks with guard Treveon Graham (21) during the first half at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Nets have already clinched their spot in their year's NBA playoffs, which would suggest head coach Kenny Atkinson rest his key players against the Heat on Wednesday to make sure they're 100 percent healthy for the big games this weekend right? 

Wrong.

"S--t we're trying to win," D'Angelo Russell told The Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "It makes sense if guys are banged up to rest. But I'm playing."

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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Apr 7, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) dribbles the ball against Indiana Pacers guard Darren Collison (2) during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Apr 7, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) dribbles the ball against Indiana Pacers guard Darren Collison (2) during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) D'Angelo Russell scored 20 points and Joe Harris added 19 on Sunday, leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 108-96 victory over the Indiana Pacers and back into the NBA playoffs for the first time in four years.

The Nets moved into position to clinch when Miami lost in overtime at Toronto earlier in the day. It's also the first time since 2014-15 the Nets have not posted a losing record.

Domantas Sabonis finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Pacers. Thaddeus Young scored 16 in a game coach Nate McMillan promised to closely monitor the minutes his players logged.

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Apr 6, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) drives to the basket against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Apr 6, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) drives to the basket against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

As the Brooklyn Nets made their playoff drive, they knew the degree of difficulty they would face with their schedule in the last few weeks, especially with the final weekend.

After getting a dramatic win over the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, the Nets conclude a critical back-to-back set Sunday when they visit the Indiana Pacers, who will likely be the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.

"It says a lot about the team and the organization," Nets forward DeMarre Carroll said. "We just keep fighting and fighting. We don't want to stop here. We want to try to go to Indiana and pick up another one."

Tags: Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll
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Apr 6, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) dribbles the ball around Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill (3) during the first half at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports  (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Apr 6, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) dribbles the ball around Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill (3) during the first half at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

MILWAUKEE (AP) D'Angelo Russell had 25 points and 10 assists, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks 133-128 on Saturday to improve their positioning in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Brooklyn (40-40) made 19 3-pointers and placed eight players in double figures. Caris LeVert had 24 points, and Jared Dudley finished with 16.

The Nets, who had dropped four of five, moved into sixth place in the East. Orlando also is 40-40, and Detroit is a half-game back with a 39-40 record.

Tags: Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, Milwaukee Bucks
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Nov 29, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) controls the ball as he is watched closely by Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) in the fourth quarter at Scotiabank Arena. The Raptors beat the Warriors 131-128 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Nov 29, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) controls the ball as he is watched closely by Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) in the fourth quarter at Scotiabank Arena. The Raptors beat the Warriors 131-128 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

With just a few games left in the NBA regular season, the highly anticipated offseason will officially kick off for half the league. Teams like the New York Knicks will be ramping up their strategy for free agency, but their crosstown rival in the Brooklyn Nets could be headed to the postseason before they think about the offseason. 

The Nets are the NBA's surprise this season, with it's young core -- led by the emergence of All-Star PG D'Angelo Russell -- beating some of the best teams in the league on their way to a low seed in the Eastern Conference. They currently hold the seventh seed, but with three games left, a lot can happen in this tight race. 

Playoffs or no playoffs, the Nets have certainly put themselves on the map this season, and the top free agents expected to hit the market like Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, and Kyrie Irving have taken notice, according to many reports...

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Apr 1, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) shoots the ball past Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 1, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) shoots the ball past Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

When the NBA playoffs start next week, the Milwaukee Bucks know they will have home-court advantage throughout. Whether the Brooklyn Nets are joining Milwaukee in the postseason remains unknown.

While the Bucks can rest up and get ready to potentially make their first finals appearance since 1974, the Nets are in a wild scramble to get one of the last three seeds and make the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Heading into Saturday's visit to Milwaukee, the Nets are jostling with the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and Miami Heat for the sixth, seventh or eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. >> Read More

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Apr 7, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson yells to his team against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Apr 7, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson yells to his team against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

Kenny Atkinson sat on a high stage in front of a large group of reporters and other basketball types. Behind him was a bright silhouette of the New York City skyline -- the highlight of Brooklyn's immaculate brand new practice facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He spoke confidently, yet humbly, having accepted his first job as a head coach after more than 14 years of playing professional basketball and more than 10 years of coaching.

Back in his home state, Atkinson told reporters, "Brooklyn is basketball."

Less than three years later, Brooklyn basketball is defined by the morals and values Atkinson has brought to the Nets. He preaches a team-first, blue-collar mentality that's helped blossom a culture. Egos are checked at the door.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Apr 3, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) grabs a rebound against Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 3, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) grabs a rebound against Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

NEW YORK (AP) Pascal Siakam had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Kawhi Leonard added 26 points and nine boards and the Toronto Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 115-105 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.

Serge Ibaka finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors (56-23), who need to win their final three games to match last season's franchise record for victories. Their victory prevented the Milwaukee Bucks from clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

D'Angelo Russell had 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Nets, who fell to 39-40 and missed another chance to improve their playoff situation. They came into play seventh in the East but could have moved ahead of Detroit after the Pistons fell in Indiana.

Brooklyn has lost four of five. >> Read more

Tags: Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, Toronto Raptors
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Feb 11, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) shoots for a basket against Toronto Raptors in the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
Feb 11, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) shoots for a basket against Toronto Raptors in the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

The Nets own head-to-head tiebreakers against Orlando and Detroit but not with Miami.

Following Wednesday, the Nets visit Milwaukee and Indiana on a back-to-back this weekend before ending the season at home next Wednesday against Miami.

Brooklyn has lost six of its past nine games since a four-game winning streak. The Nets returned home from a seven-game trip by beating Boston on Saturday but found themselves rallying from a slow start and falling short in a 131-121 home loss to Milwaukee on Monday. >> Read more

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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson instructs in a huddle against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson instructs in a huddle against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

The Nets reportedly expect to sign head coach Kenny Atkinson and his staff to contract extensions, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Nets, who currently hold the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, are nearing their first playoff berth for the first time since 2015, in large part due to Atkinson.

In three years with Atkinson, Brooklyn's win total has gone up each season. It won 20 games in 2016-17, 28 last year and already has 39 wins this year.

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