As two of the Eastern Conference’s biggest juggernauts, a rivalry has been brewing between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers for quite some time now. Both teams entered this season minus one of their superstars so it was expected that when the two teams met up for the first time, they would be dealing with different ranges of emotions. They also were eager to walk out with a win.
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Things Get Heated Between Joel Embiid and Blake Griffin
The Sixers and Nets came into Friday night’s matchup with something to prove. With the drama that faced both teams emotions began to boil over in the matchup. During the game, Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid threw an elbow at Nets starting forward Blake Griffin. It resulted in a technical foul for the Sixers center. The two big men will have a lot more time to settle their differences as it is just one of four matchups between the Eastern Conference powerhouses this season.
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Kevin Durant Reacts to Triple-Double Performance
Nets’ star Kevin Durant has proven to be the catalyst for Brooklyn’s offense through two games this season. A role that exclusively belonged to James Harden last year. Durant logged his 14th career triple-double in the Nets 114-109 win over the Sixers. He finished with 29 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 assists. The even crazier part is that it only took him three quarters to do it.
While Durant certainly has the skillset to log triple-doubles every night, he says that it is not something that fans should expect. For him, it is all about doing what the team needs which is entirely dependent on which opponent they are facing.
“I think every game is different. You don’t know how contending teams like Philly will play defensively. They’re so versatile defensively, so going into the game, I just got to be prepared for anything,” Durant told reporters after the win per NetsDaily.
“It might not be my night scoring. It might not be my night assisting, so I just got to be ready to do anything offensively.”
LaMarcus Aldridge Has Breakout Performance Against Sixers
While triple-doubles are impressive, they can’t happen if your teammates aren’t scoring. And that’s exactly what LaMarcus Aldridge did against the Sixers as he poured in 23 points. Durant applauded him for being a steady hand all night long.
“LaMarcus [Aldridge] was incredible for us tonight. So happy that he got his legs up under him and getting more comfortable. We got to keep building on this to see where we can go,” Durant continued. “It was a great team win for us tonight. Everybody came in and stepped up for us tonight defensively.”
In this new age of chucking up a high volume of three-pointers, Aldridge is sort of a throwback. He is a back-to-the-basket big man that takes full advantage of his use of the midrange jumper. Even though it has been characterized as a poor shot over the past few years.
“In this day in age, the mid-range is considered a bad shot. I got 19k points off the mid-range, so you tell me it’s a bad shot, I don’t believe you,” Aldridge told reporters after the win per NetsDaily.
The Nets finally have their first win of the season which should be a huge monkey off of their back. An even bigger deal is that they proved that without the services of Kyrie Irving they can hang with the best teams in the conference.