The Brooklyn Nets scored their first win of the season on the road in spectacular fashion, stunning the Philadelphia 76ers with a 16-1 run to close the game and overcome a late deficit. The Sixers led by 10 points with 5:33 left to play in the fourth, but went on a five-minute scoring drought as LaMarcus Aldridge powered a Nets comeback.
Aldridge (23 PTS, 5 REBS) came off the bench and gave the team some clutch minutes in the period. He even had the game-tying dunk where he was also fouled.
Everything after that came down to free throws and some important defensive stops on their way to a 114-109 victory. Although Aldridge had his name written all over the win, so did Kevin Durant (29 PTS, 15 REBS, 12 ASTS). Durant finished with a triple-double, his 13th of his career, and a game-high in points, rebounds and assists.
His running mate in James Harden (20 PTS, 8 ASTS, 7 REBS) also put on a show, passing Kyle Korver for fourth place on the NBA’s all-time 3-pointers made list in the process. Here are the player grades from Friday’s win:
Kevin Durant: A-
Kevin Durant was unstoppable versus the Sixers. The former league MVP ended the game with 29 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists. The Nets star was one of the reasons why Brooklyn was able to stick around towards the end.
It was a sensational outing by Durant, however, there were some flaws in the 33-year-old’s performance. He went 1-of-6 from three-point range and missed a couple midrange jumpers that he is capable of making but it just the beginning of the season. Though, Durant needs to stop rushing so that he could knock down those shots. Also, he gave the ball up two times.
James Harden: B
James Harden flirted with a triple-double in the matchup notching 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Going 7-of-17 from the field though is just not him at all. Racking up five turnovers too only make matters worse.
Chemistry will inevitably improve so that he can make better passes, but some of the turnovers he had in the game were too lackadaisical, like the play when Tyrese Maxey stole the ball from him in the third quarter.
LaMarcus Aldridge: A+
LaMarcus Aldridge (23 PTS,10-12 FG) gave a little bit too much of what he was asked to do, but nobody is complaining at all. Aldridge made the midrange spots in Wells Fargo Center his territory. Most of his field goals came from those areas on the floor.
The veteran also tied the game late in the fourth quarter for Brooklyn on a dunk. Since he was fouled, he also took the lead on a free throw, the Nets’ first lead of the the game. It’s no wonder why Aldridge finished the game with a plus-minus of +21.
Joe Harris: C+
Joe Harris was run off the three-point line all game, which is expected from opposing coach’s game plan when playing the Nets. Harris was able to connect on three threes (3-10 3FG), however, there still needs to be work done with the sharpshooter when driving to the basket.
Harris tends to telegraph his shots too much when driving and in the process he also attacks the best interior defender on the other team for some reason. He needs to try to exploit a different type of defender on those drives or avoid that main interior defender at all costs on a drive.
There was one play in the game during the third quarter when Harris drove to the basket quick off a pass from the left wing to get a bucket in the paint. The sharpshooter has to continue to attack the basket immediately off of a catch like that because it will catch defenses off guard.
Last but not least, Harris needs to cut down the turnovers. He had four of them this game.
Patty Mills: A+
Patty Mills was an absolute beast defending on the perimeter and putting pressure on opposing guards. On the offensive side of things, the veteran notched 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field. Three of those shots were threes, making him 10-10 from downtown on the season.
Mills’ efforts gave him a plus-minus of +21, tying the team-high on the night alongside LaMarcus Aldridge.