PHILADELPHIA — With their losing streak behind them, the Nets are focused on making a playoff run.
Thaddeus Young scored 21 points and Brooklyn snapped a five-game skid with a 94-87 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on March 14.
“I’m very thankful for a win,” Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. “It’s hard to win in this league and hard to win on the road. And the way we’ve been struggling, it’s a big win.”
Joe Johnson added 15 points and Jarrett Jack contributed 12 for the Nets, who moved within three games of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
“This is huge for us,” Young said. “Hopefully this is the one that gets us on a winning streak. We’re going to take this game and we’re going to try to piggyback off it and go out there and get some more wins.”
Brooklyn had allowed 106.6 points per game during its skid. But the Nets clamped down defensively in the second half, holding Philadelphia to 31 points. The 76ers shot 30.2 percent (13-for-43) from the field, including 11.1 percent (2 for 18) from the arc, after halftime.
“We just wanted to get into the ball a little bit more,” Young said. “Switch when needed and play the ball-handler.”
Nerlens Noel scored 17 points for Philadelphia. Isaiah Canaan added 13 and Hollis Thompson had 12.
“They’re a team that’s fighting to get into the playoffs,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. “They’re a prideful team, a veteran team, a well-coached team and we just weren’t able to find a way to close the game out. We give them credit.”
The Nets extended their eight-point lead to open the fourth quarter to as many as 11 early in the period. Philadelphia battled back within two points twice down the stretch, the latter time on Noel’s alley-oop dunk on a pass from Ish Smith with 3:37 left. Thompson could’ve put the 76ers in front on their ensuing possession, but he missed a 3-point attempt.
The Nets took advantage by tallying the next six points, capped by Young’s floater with 1:19 remaining that put Brooklyn up 93-85.
The 21 points were the most Young has scored in his 12 games with the Nets since being traded from Minnesota for Kevin Garnett. Young, who also had nine rebounds, played the first seven seasons of his career in Philadelphia before being traded to the Timberwolves in the offseason.
“Thad’s a very tough player,” Noel said. “We remember from when he was here in Philly last year. He shoots a high percentage. He always takes good shots, and (he’s) just a great player. He’s been a great player in this league.”
(AARON BRACY)Source: The National Herald