The Sixers had a sloppy, sluggish Sunday night in Brooklyn, falling to the Nets, 122-97.
With a season-high 27 turnovers, the Sixers gave the Nets too many free possessions, making things unnecessarily difficult for themselves against a team they’re capable of beating easily.
The loss drops the Sixers to 6-5. After their worst performance of the season, they’re still searching for a first road win.
• Joel Embiid had another excellent, efficient first half, scoring 13 points on four field goal attempts, but there weren’t many other positives. While the Nets helped the Sixers hang around with a poor shooting start (5 for 28 from the field in the first quarter), the Sixers’ offense couldn’t stop coughing it up.
The turnovers came in plenty of varieties — aimless Simmons drives to the basket without an open teammate available; moving screens by Amir Johnson; Landry Shamet darting one way while Embiid threw the ball in the other direction.
Turnovers haven’t been nearly as prevalent a problem for the Sixers as they were last season, but Sunday night was a reminder of their penchant for shooting themselves in the foot.
• Embiid’s first half was again much better than his second; he scored just three points after halftime. He posted 16 points and 15 rebounds total, an off night by the high standards he’s set.
• The Sixers shot 4 for 20 from three-point range, their lowest number of makes this season. Johnson made one of those threes, his first of the year, with his distinct, ultra-slow-motion release.
• After two games without seeing the court, T.J. McConnell got some garbage-time minutes. Brett Brown said pregame Friday that “Markelle Fultz is our backup point guard,” and he continues to trust Fultz’s defense when the game is in the balance.
Fultz did commit a bad foul in the first quarter, making contact with Spencer Dinwiddie on a three-pointer, but he’s clearly made some progress over the past several games reading ball screens well and being active defensively.
However, he didn’t offer much offensively for the second straight game, with nine points on 3 for 8 shooting. He had an ugly three-point attempt early in the fourth quarter from the left wing that barely grazed the lower part of the backboard.
• One bright spot for the Sixers was Ben Simmons’ attacking mentality. Simmons scored 20 points on 8 for 11 shooting and took advantage of any opportunity to impose his will in the open floor.
STEAL AND SLAM, A SIMMONS SPECIAL. pic.twitter.com/vBFUtCj2Hb— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 5, 2018
That said, his five first-half turnovers set the tone for the game and he couldn’t do much to spark the Sixers’ offense, with a season-low three assists.
• Mike Muscala and Johnson struggled when switched onto Nets guards D’Angelo Russell, Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert. The Sixers have asked their big men to switch more frequently this season, which has put Muscala and Johnson in difficult positions and exposed their lack of quickness.
• Wilson Chandler, who made his Sixers debut Saturday, got the night off against the Nets as he works his way back from the hamstring injury he suffered in the first preseason game.
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