The Philadelphia 76ers didn’t enjoy themselves during Game 1 against the Brooklyn Nets, flopping at home in embarrassing fashion. Part of the issue in that particular contest was that the duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid struggled to create efficient offense and, given the nature of Embiid’s knee injury and Simmons’ uneven playoff track record, the pressure was on in Game 2 on Monday evening. 48 minutes later, however, the Sixers passed the test with flying colors, using a massive run in the third quarter to take care of business with a 145-123 victory to even the series.
At the outset, the Sixers gained traction with an 11-0 run to grab an early lead, and they were keyed by the energy and aggressive of Simmons.
The Nets wouldn’t fade, though, throwing haymakers in the form of a three-point barrage to keep things interesting, led by D’Angelo Russell with 16 first-half points.
Still, the Sixers threatened to pull away at various moments, including a 12-3 run to take a 44-31 lead early in the second period. Part of their uptick was predictably keyed by Simmons and Embiid.
The Nets did make things interesting and, bizarrely, flagrant fouls became the story down the stretch of the second quarter. First, Embiid was nearly ejected after delivering a controversial elbow to the face of Brooklyn’s Jarrett Allen.