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.
The 76ers are trying to avoid falling behind 2-0 in a first-round series when they are the higher seed for the second time in team history.
Both teams are in this position after what unfolded in Brooklyn's 111-102 win on Saturday afternoon.
D'Angelo Russell started slowly by missing 12 of his first 15 shots but led the Nets with 26 points. Caris LeVert helped the Nets outscore Philadelphia's reserves by a 59-26 margin by adding 23 points.
"We weren't rattled," said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson. "You're afraid with this crowd, and the team they have, that they're going to knock you out of the box quick. I thought that we kind of took a couple of punches from them, took a couple of runs and still kept our composure. That's big progress for us. Like I said before, earlier in the season, we just wouldn't have the composure to close a game like that out."
While Philadelphia got 36 points from Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid scored a quiet 22 by missing 10 of 15 shots. Not helping matters for Philadelphia was its other three starters -- Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and JJ Redick -- were non-factors, combining for 18 points on 8 of 23 shooting. >> Read more
Copyright 2019 by the Associated Press