The Skinny: The first quarter started off ugly with both teams shooting poorly from the field and turning the ball over. Deron Williams showed up to play however, scoring eight of the first 11 Nets’ points including hitting two three-pointers. He finished the quarter with 10 points, but Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday outdid D-Will by scoring 12 points on a perfect 4-of-4 from the field in the quarter. The Nets led by two after one.
Just hours after dealing with the aftermath of Tuesday morning’s incident, Andray Blatche started the second quarter hot, scoring Brooklyn’s first eight points of the quarter in the first four minutes. But the rest of the team couldn’t buy a basket. The 76ers regained the lead midway through the quarter on a Jason Richardson lay-up. The Nets’ starters re-entered and orchestrated a 7-0 run to go back on top with Joe Johnson finding his stroke. Despite shooting 38 percent in the half, the Nets held a one-point lead at the break.
Brooklyn started the third quarter on a 6-0 run, forcing 76ers’ head coach Doug Collins to take a timeout. But after the timeout, the Nets followed with a 10-2 run, forcing another Collins’ timeout. The Nets hit nine of their first 10 field-goal attempts to start the quarter and up the intensity as they established a 22-point lead by the end of the third.
No offense to “Toko,” but when Tornike Shengelia enters the game in the fourth quarter, it’s obviously a blowout. The Nets cruised to an easy victory.
High Scorers: Williams led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting and dished out five assists. For the Sixers, Holiday led the way with 19 points on 7-of-11 from the field and added eight assists.
Key Stats: The Nets outscored the 76ers, 35-14, in the third quarter. Brooklyn shot 14-of-19 from the field, while Philadelphia managed just 6-of-19.
Who Was Hot: Reggie Evans pulled down a career-high 23 rebounds. Ironically, his previous career-high (22) came against the 76ers while he was a member of the Toronto Raptors. Johnson finished the game with 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Blatche scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds. For the 76ers, Spencer Hawes scored 14 points on 6-of-9 from the field.
Who Was Not: The Sixers were just 6-of-10 from the free-throw line. Not only is that a poor percentage (60 percent), but it also means that Philadelphia was not attacking the basket and drawing fouls. The Nets meanwhile shot 19-of-22 (86 percent) from the charity stripe.
Fun Fact: The Nets are averaging 102.8 points per game in seven games under P.J. Carlesimo and 111.8 during their four-game winning streak. The “Bench Mob” has also seen an increase in production under Carlesimo, averaging 35.8 points per game in the last seven. Brooklyn averaged 94.5 points per game in 28 games with Avery Johnson at the helm.
The last time these teams met, the 76ers clawed all the way back to make the game interesting down the stretch. But after a slow first half in this one, the Nets found their groove in the third quarter.
Philadelphia outrebounded Brooklyn 49-43 last time, but this time around, the Nets had the advantage, 50-32, led by a big night from Evans. There was a point in the game where Evans had more rebounds than the entire Philadelphia squad.
The Nets now have their longest road winning streak of the season (three) and have now won six of their first seven games since Carlesimo took over. That “interim” tag may not be around much longer.
The Sixers meanwhile are struggling without center Andrew Bynum, who hasn’t played all season dealing with ailing knees.
This was just the type of effort the Nets needed after the news earlier in the day surrounding Blatche. Blatche once again played well, but we’ll have to wait and see if there is any additional fallout from the incident.
Brooklyn (20-15) will enjoy two days off before heading home Friday to take on the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. The 7:30 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.