The New Jersey Nets have now lost five of their last six games and fell apart in the fourth quarter in their 102-86 road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nets are now 5-11 on the season. Though some of these losses were strong efforts, they didn’t look so good tonight against a team who was 3-13 coming into play.
The Nets looked very sloppy in the early going, letting the 76ers score the first seven points. Philadelphia played with lots of energy, especially Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala who scored eight and nine points, respectively.
New Jersey began chipping away at this lead. Brook Lopez only recorded two field goals and no rebounds during the first quarter, but he hit 9-of-10 free-throw attempts to finish the quarter with 13 points. The Nets trailed by three at the end of the first quarter.
The Nets looked bad again to start second quarter but once again came from behind, thanks to Lopez. After an 11-0 run and a wide open three by Devin Harris, the Nets took their first lead of the night.
Kris Humphries pulled down eight rebounds in the half for the Nets, who led 48-46 at the break.
The Nets came out strong in the second half, with Harris continuing to get involved with the offense. But the 76ers fought back to retake the lead by three midway through the third. Elton Brand got to the basket and knocked down his outside jumpers.
Damion James gave the Nets some good minutes off the bench, recording six points and six boards through three quarters. With Terrence Williams in the D-League, James should see his share of minutes off the bench.
The game was tied at 66 at the end of the third.
Thaddeus Young caught fire early in the fourth for the 76ers, scoring the first seven points of the quarter for Philadelphia. Following a four-point play from Louis Williams, the 76ers opened a 10-point lead with six minutes to go.
The Nets were unable to come back from the deficit and were outscored 36-20 in the fourth quarter. Holiday finished with a double-double (20 points, 13 assists). Five 76ers (Iguodala, Williams, Brand, Young and Holiday) scored in double figures.
Lopez finished with 27 points, but he only managed 10 in the second half. Travis Outlaw had a night to forget, going only 2-for-9 from the field for four points.
The Nets will take on Brandon Roy and the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday night. If they play like they did against the 76ers, the Nets will be embarrassed by the talented Trailblazers.