|12:00 PM PT1:00 PM MT2:00 PM CT3:00 PM ET19:00 GMT3:00 12:00 PM MST2:00 PM EST23:00 UAE21:0015:00 ET2:00 PM CT18:00 , April 20, 2019
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York Attendance: 17,732
76ers look to take series stranglehold in Brooklyn
Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets
- Playing without center Joel Embiid on Thursday, the 76ers took a 2-1 series lead with a 131-115 victory. Philadelphia is now 9-10 (.474) without Embiid this season, compared to 44-22 (.667) with him.
- Philadelphia scored 276 combined points in winning Games 2 and 3. That's the seventh most by any NBA team all-time in back-to-back postseason games, and the most since the Lakers had 279 points over Games 2 and 3 of the first round against Denver in 1987.
- Brooklyn had made at least 10 three-pointers in a franchise-record 19 straight games (including postseason) before going 8-for-39 (.205) from long range in Thursday's loss.
- Caris LeVert's 26 points in Game 3 were his most since November 6 at Phoenix (also 26). He has made 53.3 percent of his three-pointers in this series (8/15), after making 31.2 percent in the regular season.
- Ben Simmons scored 31 points on Thursday, going 11-of-13 from the field. He's the first 76er to score 30-plus points on 75 percent or better shooting in a playoff game since Charles Barkley in 1991 against the Bulls (34 points, 10-of-13 shooting).
- Tobias Harris (29 points) and JJ Redick (26) also had big games on Thursday, making it the first playoff game in which the 76ers had three 25-point scorers since Game 3 of the 1978 conference semifinals against the Knicks.
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The Philadelphia 76ers will be searching for a commanding 3-1 series lead when they visit the Brooklyn Nets Saturday in Game 4 of an Eastern Conference opening-round playoff series.
Conversely, the Nets will be looking to even the series.
The third-seeded Sixers grabbed the upper hand with a 131-115 win Thursday, without All-Star center Joel Embiid. After arriving to the arena about 65 minutes before Game 3, Embiid eventually sat out with left knee soreness.
Embiid's status is listed as doubtful for Game 4.
The Sixers' other All-Star, Ben Simmons, stepped up in a major way and scored a playoff career-high 31 points on 11-of-13 shooting while handing out nine assists. Nets forward Jared Dudley had been critical of Simmons, especially his shooting and overall play in half-court sets.
Simmons appeared to make a gesture at Dudley after one of his baskets.
"I think we forget he's 22 years old," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said of Simmons. "We start talking about his growth in his jump shot -- all this stuff everyone talks about -- and then you see him come out and make the free throws.
"Whether he's getting booed or there's something else going on with some level of scrutinizing Ben, he is incredibly confident within himself."
Tobias Harris also poured in a playoff career-high 29 points to go along with 16 rebounds. It was arguably his best game since joining the Sixers in a late-season trade from the Los Angeles Clippers, as he also made all six of his 3-pointers.
"Obviously towards the end of the regular season we really didn't play that well," Harris said. "Also, it added more motivation for us as a group with our best player down. We all needed to pick it up and step it up, stick to the game plan and be even more focused."
The sixth-seeded Nets took Game 1 in Philadelphia before struggling defensively and allowing 145 points in Game 2. For much of Game 3, the Nets looked disjointed on both offense and defense despite closing within seven late in the third quarter.
Caris LeVert and D'Angelo Russell paced the Nets with 26 points apiece.
But the Nets will need to make changes on the defensive end if they want to even the series.
"I think we have to look at everything," Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said. "It starts defensively in terms of what we have to do. I think we look at lineups. It's only 1-2. We come back here Saturday and if we win, it's a different series.
"I think we have to look at some different things. Obviously, what we have been doing the last two games is not working."
The Nets also launched a franchise playoff record 39 shots from beyond the 3-point arc but made just eight. Russell was 2 of 9, and Joe Harris missed all four of his attempts.
"We're an attacking team," LeVert said. "We're gonna attack the rim at all costs. Sometimes that little floater's open, but we got the shots we wanted tonight. We just missed a couple looks."
The Game 3 loss was the Nets' first home playoff game in four years.
Embiid's status could remain up in the air until shortly before game time once again. While he told reporters his knee is "slowly but surely" getting better, he also said the discomfort has been unpredictable depending on the day.
--Field Level Media
Updated April 19, 2019