Give the 76ers credit for not celebrating Monday’s record-setting 145-123 win in Game 2 of their opening Eastern Conference playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Sixers set a franchise record for most points in a playoff game and tied an NBA record for most points in the third quarter, when they blitzed the Nets, 51-23.
The old franchise mark for playoff points was in 1967 when the Sixers won 141-135 in overtime over San Francisco in Game 1 of the NBA final.
According to the Sixers, the 51 points are not only most in franchise playoff history and tied for the most points in any quarter of a playoff game. The Los Angeles Lakers also had 51 points in the fourth quarter on March 31, 1962 against Detroit.
The Sixers convincing win came after they lost Game 1, 111-102 to the visiting Nets. Now the next two games return to Brooklyn beginning with Thursday’s 8 p.m. matchup.
After Wednesday’s practice when Tobias Harris was asked about how the team doesn’t allow complacency to set in, the Sixers forward said that wouldn’t very difficult.
“Honestly, the series is 1-1 and they came in and stole a game in our place and that is how we look at it,” Harris said. “If anybody is really excited that we won one game when we should be up 2-0, that is enough for you right there.”
He genuinely seemed angry to have lost that opening game, one in which the Sixers shot 3 for 25 from three-point range.
“In my eyes, they came in and stole one on our court and we have go there and pick up two, one at a time, but at the end of the day, we got to be locked in because we know they took one from us."
During the regular season, the Sixers were 2-2 against the Nets, with both teams going 1-1 at home and on the road.
Point guard Ben Simmons understands the challenge of winning in front of what should be a charged-up Barclays Center crowd.
“It is going to be tough, but at the same time, we love playing on the road,” Simmons said.
The Sixers were 20-21 on the road in the regular season.
One of the keys for in Game 3 is to contain Nets all-star point guard D’Angelo Russell. Even though he has averaged 21 points in the two games, Russell has taken 41 shots, which is nine more than the next player, the Sixers Jimmy Butler, who has 32 field goal attempts.
Russell is shooting 39 percent from the field, and also has a tendency to dribble to much, which can slow down the offense.
Simmons will be a key defender on Russell. In Monday’s win, Russell was 0-2 in the decisive third quarter and a minus-16 in just under six minutes.
“The way Russell has been playing, you don’t want him having the ball in his hands,” said Simmons who did his best to deny him the ball. “He is so effective going downhill knocking down shots.”
Like Harris, Simmons will take more motivation from Game 1 then Game 2.