The Philadelphia 76ers came into Barclays Center looking for revenge in a rematch with the first-place Brooklyn Nets. The Nets who were without seven of the active players on their roster pulled out a 114-105 victory over the Sixers on December 16. After the win Nets superstar, Kevin Durant seemed to make a gesture telling the Sixers to get off of the court, as he was pumped up that he was able to lead his team to victory despite them being short-handed. The 11-time All-Star had 34 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists in the Nets’ last win over the Sixers.
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Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid Exchange Words After Nets Loss
The Nets have slowly started to bring many of their players out of the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Most notably Durant. He returned to the floor for the first time since entering health and safety protocols against the 76ers on Thursday. Despite Durant pouring in 33 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in the contest the Sixers got their revenge over the Nets with a 110-102 victory.
After the win Embiid mocked Durant using the same gesture that Durant did when Brooklyn beat the Sixers in their last contest, imploring Durant and the Nets to get off the court, which ignited an exchange between the two All-Stars.
Durant sounded off on the confrontation after the game.
“He really didn’t say nothing. I was just turned up. No matter what we were down eight, ten and they got the game in control so we still let them know we’re still here, I guess. He didn’t say nothing that crossed the line. We all respect each other out there. We all respect this team and I respect all these players on this team and vice versa. That’s how we play,” Durant said after the Nets loss per NetsDaily.
“If you’ve been watching Joel and I play against each other, it’s been like that every game. Even in the All-Star game. We just respect each other so much that that natural competitive fire comes out, it’s the name of the game and letting him know we come with the same energy like the energy that they played with tonight. We love competition and it’ll only make you better.”
Embiid also confirmed the respect that he has for Durant after the game.
“If there was one player that I think is more talented than me, it’s definitely [Kevin Durant]. I have a lot of respect for him,” Embiid said per SNY.
Steve Nash Sounds off After Nets Loss
Turnovers continue to be the Achilles heel for this Nets team and it was on full display in their loss to the 76ers. The Nets racked up 17 turnovers in the loss. Nets head coach Steve Nash understands that turnovers are something that cannot happen if the Nets want to be contenders.
“We weren’t very sharp tonight. Obviously, the shot discrepancy — 110-81 — shots at the basket. We had 17 turnovers and 14 in the first half. We had plenty of opportunities when we were up five to get it to eight, ten, twelve and turn it over, three-ball, foul, and stuff like that,” Nash said after the loss per NetsDaily.
“We just weren’t sharp. We didn’t play our best and we got a lot of things to clean up. It happens and we’ll just keep improving.”
The Nets’ next matchup against the Sixers is on March 10 where they can secure a season series win over their division rival.