After being listed as questionable on the injury report prior to the game, Joel Embiid did not play due to knee soreness.
That was the only bad moment for the Sixers, who reclaimed home court with a 131-115 win.
The Nets and their fans did a lot of talking about Ben Simmons’ game prior to the game.
Nets forward Jared Dudley told the media, “Once you get Ben Simmons in the half court, he’s average.”
Also, the Brooklyn fans had some fun at his expense when they posted signs outside the Barclays Center mocking the second-year pro.
The poster claimed that Simmons jump shot was “missing” and if anyone found it, they should contact Kendall Jenner.
Simmons, who heard boos throughout the game, didn’t seem to be bothered by the noise.
He scored a playoff career-high 31 points shooting 11 of 13 from the field. He was in attack mode all night in the half-court, driving the basket and setting up his teammates with easy looks.
In the fourth quarter when hope was slipping for the home team, the Nets deployed hack-a-Simmons. He made seven of his nine free-throw attempts in the quarter and finished the game shooting 11 of 13 at the line.
When they needed Simmons to step up and lead the team without Embiid, he delivered.
Meanwhile, Dudley played 17 minutes and scored zero points. He airballed a three-point attempt in the third quarter, one of the few times his name was called in the game. Just a poor showing for Dudley in the half court and everywhere else.
Group effort in Brooklyn
It takes a village to replace the production of Embiid. The Sixers got that and then some.
Tobias Harris had his best game as a Sixer. He scored a playoff career-high 29 points, making all six of the threes.
He allowed the ball to find him instead of trying to force shots up. Harris drove to the basket when necessary and collected 16 rebounds.
JJ Redick did his normal thing, moving constantly without the ball and getting open shots. He made 5 of 9 threes and finished with 26 points.
Redick helped the Sixers take control early in the third quarter, and they never looked back.
Redick and Harris were the only Sixers to make a three-pointer in the game. They combined to shoot 11 of 15 from downtown, while the rest of the team was 0 of 12.
Greg Monroe got the start at center in a surprising decision by head coach Brett Brown. The numbers don’t look great, 4 of 13 from the field and only nine points, but he held his own.
Not bad for a player added just a few weeks ago.
Boban Marjanovic isn’t playing around this series. Yet again, the Nets just couldn’t deal with him.
He finished with 14 points and collected eight rebounds. Despite fouling out in the fourth quarter, he delivered another great performance.
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