Coming off of a losing weekend, both the Brooklyn Nets (21-25) and the New York Knicks (19-29) looked to bounce back against mediocre opponents on Monday night. Brooklyn welcomed the Philadelphia 76ers (15-34) to the Barclays Center, while New York was on the road to take on the woeful Milwaukee Bucks (9-39).
Going into the game, the Nets were on a 3-game losing streak -- Paul Pierce and Deron Williams made sure that the streak would end there. Led by Pierce’s 25 points, the Nets defeated the 76ers 108-102. Williams contributed to the win with 21 points of his own. With this loss, the 76ers now lost 14 of their last 17 games.
A five-point lead at halftime (54-49) ballooned to a 19-point lead in the 3rd quarter for the Nets. With 4:21 remaining in the 3rd, the Nets led 78-59, then the 76ers began to chip away at the lead.
To begin the 4th quarter, the 76ers went on a quick 8-3 run to cut the Nets’ lead to nine (87-78).
With 2:24 remaining, Pierce made two free throws to give the Nets a 104-95 lead -- the 76ers then responded with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to two. Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner hit jumpers, and the run was capped off with a James Anderson 3-pointer.
With 12 seconds left on the clock, Pierce was fouled and he made two free throws to increase the Nets lead to four. On the next possession, Michael Carter-Williams threw a bad pass which was intercepted by Shaun Livingston. Livingston was then fouled, and he was able to make both his free throws to seal the game for the Nets.
Brooklyn still holds the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference; they trail the Chicago Bulls by 2 games for the 6th spot and they trail the Toronto Raptors by 4 games for the Atlantic Division lead.
Key Stats: Paul Pierce led the Nets with 25 points. More than half of Pierce’s points came from the free throw line, shooting a perfect 14-14. Deron Williams had 21 points and 6 assists. Shaun Livingston finished with 13 points, 8 assists, 7 steals, and 6 rebounds. Mirza Teletovic scored 20 points off the bench, shooting 5-9 from 3-point range.
Michael Carter-Williams led the 76ers with 21 points -- Carter-Williams also turned over the ball six times. Thaddeus Young had 17 points and 5 rebounds. James Anderson had 12 points and 5 rebounds. Troy Wroten scored 18 points off the bench and grabbed 6 rebounds.
Key Notes: Arnett Moultrie was out with a right ankle injury. Joe Johnson didn’t play due to tendinitis in his right knee. Andrei Kirilenko missed his third straight game with a right calf injury. Andray Blatche was out with a sore hip.
Read more here.