World news – 3 observations: Sixers lose heavily to Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving-less Nets


The Philadelphia 76ers rolled into the Barclays Center Thursday night and drove up into the Eastern Conference. They went into the night with five wins in a row, on their 7-1 start they were at the top of the standings in the east, and they faced a Brooklyn Nets team that lacked stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. </ Everything seemed poised to win another game, but Joe Harris, Caris LeVert and the Nets gave them a 122-109 loss to bring them back to earth with one thud.

Shake Milton led Philadelphia on 24 points and seven assists, Tobias Harris added 17 points and eight rebounds and Tyrese Maxey had 16 off the bench. Joel Embiid had 20 points and 12 rebounds, but he was shooting 7v14 off the floor and he didn’t look like his dominant self and Ben Simmons added 11 points in 4v13.

In one Night the Nets missed their two superstars, this was a night when Simmons and Embiid had to flex their muscles and go to work. Sure, Seth Curry had an ankle injury and is an important piece in terms of clearance to the ground, but this was still a game where the two Philadelphia stars should have dominated the game and laid the team on their backs. Instead, the two separated from the ground at 4:15 in the first half and fell 65:51 at half time. Their play in the third quarter wasn’t much better and the Sixers got back to it at the end of the quarter with a line-up of Milton, Maxey, Isaiah Joe and Dakota Mathias. Considering they are the two leaders and the ones who are going to make or break the Sixers, this was a game the two had to take seriously and go to work, and they came out small in that moment.

This was an opportunity for the Sixers to defend again after Bradley Beal scored a ridiculous 60 on Wednesday and they weren’t much better on Thursday. The nets only went in color to find simple buckets which then also produced a ton of simple looks in terms of size. Philadelphia is lucky that Durant and Irving didn’t play that night or the nets would have scored even more points on the board. Or maybe they would have taken the nets a little more seriously with these two on the ground. This could be the effect of standing back to back at the end of one and having to travel the night before, but that can’t be an excuse in this league. The Sixers started the night with the best defensive rating in the league at 102.9, and Thursday’s efforts were unacceptable on all fronts.

All the good vibes surrounding the Sixers and their insults were gone by Thursday. Embiid struggled with the doubles that night after making so much progress in this area and having lots of lazy passes during the night. At one point, Brooklyn had 30 points less than Sixer’s sales and that can be said to be the main difference in the game. On both ends the Sixers looked really sluggish and there are many factors that could be taken into account. It was the second game of a duel, the Nets missing Durant and Irving, which could not have made the Sixers mentally ready to fight, and they had an emotional win against the Washington Wizards the night before. On the flip side, they can’t have nights like this and expect them to take steps toward their goal.

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