NEW YORK — The 76ers defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 131-115, in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Thursday night at the Barclays Center.
Here are some observations and best and worst awards:
-- Tobias Harris took advantage of his height, 6-foot-9, to shoot over the defense. The smaller Nets guards were unable to match up against him on the perimeter, and he hit all six of his three-point attempts. Harris was also aggressive on the defensive end, preventing several plays at the basket.
-- One could argue that Brooklyn would be up, instead of down, two games to one if it had several Caris LeVert clones or provided him more touches. The Nets reserve guard played with tremendous energy. That’s what enabled him to score 19 of his 26 points in the second quarter. However, the Nets for some reason didn’t ride the Michigan product. He took only four shots after intermission.
-- Brooklyn’s turnovers and the Sixers’ hustle made it tough for the Nets to take advantage of Joel Embiid’s absence in the first half. The Sixers scored 14 points off Brooklyn’s 10 first-half turnovers. The Sixers also grabbed 11 offensive rebounds in the first two quarters. Those rebounds and turnovers helped get Philly going.
- Best performance: Harris gets this on a night that Ben Simmons scored a playoff career-high 31 points to silence the talk that he’s an “average” player in the half-court. But Harris’ outing was more impressive. He finished with playoff career highs of 29 points and 16 rebounds and made all six of his three-pointers. His three-point attempts and makes were playoff career highs.
- Worst performance: This goes to Joe Harris. The Nets shooting guard led the NBA this season in three-point shooting percentage (47.4). However, you couldn’t tell that by Thursday night’s performance. He missed all four of his three-pointers and shot 2-for-7 overall from the floor. He also graded out at a game-worst minus-27.
- Best defensive performance: Simmons get this one with a game-high three blocks to go with two steals.
- Worst statistic: The Sixers not named Harris or JJ Redick combined to shoot 0-for-12 on three-pointers.
- Best statistic: I gave this to Harris and Redick (5-for-9) for combining to shoot 11-for-15 on three-pointers.