Posted on April 24, 2019, by Travis Pulver
History was on the side of the Philadelphia 76ers heading into Tuesday night’s Game Five against the Brooklyn Nets. Very few teams have ever been able to overcome a 3-1 series deficit. But rather than slack off and give the Nets any reason to believe they could, the 76ers slammed the door on that notion pretty quickly.
The 76ers got things started on the right foot with a 14-0 run to start the game and didn’t let up from there. After the Nets finally made a basket, they responded with a 9-0 run. When the quarter finally ended, the 76ers had a 17-point lead, 32-17.
But the domination didn’t stop there. It continued through the second quarter and saw the 76ers take a 29-point lead into halftime, 60-31.
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Brooklyn’s offense woke up enough in the third quarter to keep the game from getting even more out of hand. However, heading into the fourth, the 76ers held a pretty insurmountable lead, 95-64. The 76ers went on cruise control for the fourth quarter and let the Nets narrow the final gap down to 22-points, 122-100.
After the game, Nets head coach, Kenny Atkinson talked about his team’s effort, via ESPN:
“We never made a push back. I’m surprised we didn’t come out with more grit, more fight.”
He also shared his take on the 76ers:
“They’re [the 76ers] going for big things. They can compete for a championship, quite honestly.”
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led the charge for the Nets scoring 21 points off the bench. Caris LeVert was the only starter that scored in double figures with 18 points. D’Angelo Russell was a dismal 3-16 from the floor for eight points.
For the 76ers, once again, it was Joel Embiid leading the way on the scoreboard with 23 points and 13 rebounds followed by Ben Simmons with 13 points. In total, six players scored in double-figures for the 76ers.
“Our team was physical the whole time,” Ben Simmons said after the game. “I think we need to take that up to Toronto.”
The Toronto Raptors finished off their series with the Orlando Magic earlier in the night setting the stage for a date with the 76ers in the conference semifinals round—assuming the 76ers took care of business (like they did).
Toronto won the regular season series with the 76ers, 3-1. The Raptors didn’t necessarily blow the 76ers out of the water, but they did win in convincing fashion (by 17, 11, and 12 points). But 76ers head coach Brett Brown isn’t worried about how the regular season played out, via ESPN:
“You can credit it or you can discredit it. I’m discrediting it. We have a new group. We have a new opportunity.”
Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Raptors and 76ers is expected to be Saturday night in Toronto. The early line has Toronto favored by 5.5 points in Game One. They are also favored to win the series (-225; 76ers– +195).