When the Brooklyn Nets took the court they were down seven of their players including star players like Kevin Durant and James Harden.
Kevin Durant out due to a left hamstring injury management day.
Meanwhile James Harden already missing most of the games with a right hamstring strain.
Similarly, Tyler Johnson is still working through right knee soreness. LaMarcus Aldridge was held out with a non-COVID-19 illness.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 14, 2021
And Blake Griffin is on an injury-management day with an ongoing knee issue.
Worst of all the Nets faced their rival for 1st place in the Eastern Conference Philadelphia Sixers.
The injury-filled Brooklyn Nets ultimately fall short in a 123-117 loss to the 76ers on Wednesday night.
The Sixers took a one-game lead on the 37-18 Nets with 17 games left to play in the season with the win.
The 76ers strong start with strong finish.
Both the teams started scoring pretty well with a four points difference with the Nets taking the lead.
The 76ers started a 15-6 lead before Irving started making plays for the Brooklyn Nets.
He had 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the game’s first 10 minutes and the Nets took the lead, 24-23, due to his consecutive baskets.
But the Sixers took a 32-28 lead as they entered the second quarter and soon stretched took 12-point advantage midway through the quarter.
Subsequently Irving dropped four free throws to cut the 76ers lead within seven points as they entered the break.
He dropped 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting including seven assists before the halftime for the Nets.
Brooklyn shot 56.4 percent for the two quarter, but attempted just eight 3-pointers and making only two.
While the Sixers shot 55.6 percent overall and 58.3 percent with 7-of-12 on 3-pointers.
As they entered the third quarter the 76ers were up seven points and they extended their lead with 4:30 left in the quarter.
Irving stepping up with incredilble plays for the Nets
Without James and Durant, it was all upto Kyrie Irving to step up and score. He made great runs and even cut the lead.
Even so it was not enough to take over the Embid’s 76ers.
The 76ers extended its lead to 16 points taking an 85-69 advantage over the Nets. Then Irving came up with incredible run, scoring six points in an 8-0 run.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 15, 2021
He made two free throws which brought the Nets within 85-77 before the Sixers took a 94-84 lead into the fourth quarter.
But the 76ers swiftly made a 15-4 run to open the fourth eventually extending lead to a 21-point.
As they made six of its first seven shots in the run and was in the lead with 109-88 as nine minutes remained to end the game.
Soon the Sixers were up 112-90 before the Nets trimmed the lead with a 21-2 run. Bruce Brown Jr. started the run with a 3-pointer and two free throws.
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored on the break off a Brooklyn steal to bring the Nets within 114-106 with 3:37 to go.
Alize Johnson’s rebound basket made it a 114-111 game with 2:18 remaining. But the Nets couldn’t take the lead.
The 76ers were still within 118-115 with just over a minute remaining.
Before they finally ended the game taking the lead from the foul line over the Nets.
The 76ers defeated the Nets 123-117 taking the 6 points lead and won the sole possession for the first place.
Kyrie Irving led Brooklyn with 37 points, his team-high 13th 30-point game of the season. Irving shot 13-for-21 and had nine assists.
DeAndre Jordan posted a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds, plus five assists.
Joel Embid for the win.
After the Joel Embid returned for the 76ers from the injury, the 76ers is playing very well.
Joel Embid made great plays for the 76ers’s win despite the Nets’ star DeAndre Jordan guarding him.
Jordan gave hard time to the 76ers’ big man and stopped him from getting the buckets.
But it was not enough to stop Embid as he got easy buckets and made great plays.
Eventually dropped a huge double-double scoring 39 points and 13 rebounds along with 2 assists.
39 PTS | 13 REB pic.twitter.com/EjFz95rC1x
— NBA (@NBA) April 15, 2021
Embid played for 33 minutes to drop the double-double.
Tobias Harris dropped 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Likewise, Ben Simmons dropped with 4 rebounds and 9 assists.
“We feel good about the way we played tonight,” said Nash. “We played hard. We played together.
You could tell our group fought for each other. You could see the guys on the bench cheering for that bench squad that was in there in the second half.
it shows our connectivity and our growth as a group and that these guys care about each other and that’s really important.
Win or lose, that’s something that we don’t want to ever be in doubt. To see that tonight and a performance in a tough loss it made us all feel really proud of the group.”
Now the 76ers faces LA Clippers while the Nets meet Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.