76ers vs.  Nets score, takeaways: Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey take a 2-0 lead over Philadelphia.

In Game 1 of this 76ers-Nets first-round series, Philadelphia tied the franchise record for most 3-pointers made in a postseason game with 21 shots from beyond the arc against Brooklyn on Saturday. Game 2 saw the 76ers take control of the game only in the third quarter, winning 96-84 after the first 24 minutes of play. Cam Johnson, who finished the first half with 22 points, was the highlight, but in the end it was Philadelphia who made it to the finals.

Brooklyn did a great job of making things difficult on James Harden, who had struggled from the field most of the night, before hitting a timely 3-pointer to help open the lead in the fourth quarter. In the end, however, Tobias Harris finished with a 20-point field goal in the win, and they simply did not have enough offensive power to keep pace with the Sixers.

With the win, the 76ers head to Brooklyn with a chance to take a 3-0 lead over the Nets at the Barclays Center. Game 3 will be played on Thursday.

Here are three key takeaways from the game:

1. Embiid makes a big impact despite constant double teams.

The Nets came out and dropped the kitchen sink on Joel Embiid in Game 1, and the Sixers’ supporting cast responded by knocking down 3-pointer after 3-pointer. While the tactic didn’t work the first time, Nets head coach Jacques Vaughn went back to it in Game 2, sending constant double teams through Embiid to get the ball out of his hands.

Embiid was working to perfection early on as he couldn’t take his own offense and nobody could hit him on the Sixers except for Tyrese Maxey. But as the game wore on, Embiid found a way to make an impact on both sides of the ball and showed why he’s probably the MVP. He finished with 20 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks.

He ended the Nets’ comeback hopes decisively in the final few minutes. First, he ran back in transition to come up with a huge block on Cameron Johnson, which led to a Maxey layup on the other end. Then he threw down a big dunk on four consecutive possessions, drained a fadeaway jumper, found Maxey for an open 3 and drove to the lane for two free throws. If Johnson had made that layup, the Sixers’ lead would have been down to five. At the end of his tenure, he rose by 14.

2. Maxi went up

Tyrese Maxey did not have the easiest season. He started brilliantly, then missed six weeks with a foot injury and was benched when he returned. But even with all the ups and downs, he put together a career year, averaging 20.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 43.4% from 3-point land.

In Game 2 on Monday night, he had his most important performance of the season, going 13-23 from the field and finishing with 33 points to lead all scorers in the game. This was his third career playoff game with at least 30 points and zero turnovers; In the year If turnovers in 1977 are an official statistic, all other Sixers have two such games. (Charles Barkley and Julius Erving each have one.)

33 points without any turnovers would have been impressive regardless, but the way Maxey started his career was crucial. He was the only one playing with any serious energy in the first half, scoring 18 points before halftime to keep the Sixers in the game; Without his efforts, it could easily have gone down by double digits. He then scored 10 points again in the fourth quarter to help put the game away.

On a night where Embiid was largely prevented from finding his own offense, and James Harden — eight points and five turnovers on 3-of-13 from the field — the Sixers needed someone else to pick up the slack. Maxey did the same.

3. The Nets lack reliable scorers.

The Brooklyn Nets started the season with two of the league’s best scorers in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but traded both at the trade deadline. While they have one of the deepest teams in the league right now, most of these players are better off as third or fourth options on a really good team.

In Game 2, the problem became more apparent than ever as they scored just 84 points in a 30-80 loss. It’s the first time since 2021 (the East Semifinal game against the Buckeyes) that they’ve failed to reach 85 points and the 12th time for any team this decade.

Cameron Johnson led the playoffs with 28 points, but only scored 6 in the second half. Michal Bridges, who has made the Moonlight his No. 1 option since arriving in Brooklyn, added 20 points. Every other Nets player combined for 36 points on 13-of-46 shooting. That obviously doesn’t bode well for the postseason and that’s why the Nets are going to lose this series.



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