Sixers fend off Nets in tense matchup, win sixth straight

EditorsNote: adds to sixth graf

Jan 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Montrezl Harrell warms up before action against the Brooklyn Nets at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrese Maxey scored 27 points, Joel Embiid added 26 points and 10 rebounds and the host Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Brooklyn Nets 137-133 on Wednesday.

Embiid shot just 6 of 18 from the field but hit all 13 of his free throws.

James Harden contributed 23 points, De’Anthony Melton had 19 points and three blocks and Tobias Harris chipped in with 18 points for the Sixers, who won their sixth game in a row.

The Sixers went 35 of 36 overall from the free-throw line.

Seth Curry led the Nets with 32 points and Kyrie Irving added 30 points and 10 assists. Nic Claxton had 25 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks and Ben Simmons scored 12 points in his second game against his former team in Philadelphia. Simmons was booed by the fans throughout the game.

The game was tied at 41 at the end of the first quarter, marking the first time all season that both teams scored at least 40 points in the opening 12 minutes in any NBA game.

The Sixers went ahead 69-58 with 4:22 left in the second when Harden threw a pass through Simmons’ legs to Embiid for a layup.

After a high-scoring first half, the Sixers led 75-65 thanks in large part to Maxey’s 16 points off the bench.

Slideshow ( 56 images )

The game was tense with five technical fouls, 18 personal fouls and 32 free-throw attempts in the first half.

Embiid converted a three-point play with 6:01 left in the third for a 94-77 advantage.

Simmons threw down an alley-oop dunk with 1:56 remaining and the Nets closed within 100-89. After an empty Sixers possession, Curry hit two free throws to slice the deficit to nine.

After the Sixers extended their lead to 14 early in the fourth, the Nets soon used an 8-0 run to get within 116-110 following Curry’s trey from the corner.

Curry’s 3-pointer with 4:06 to go tied the game at 120.

Harden responded with a trey for the Sixers.

After Claxton scored in the lane, Harden knocked down another 3-pointer for a 126-122 advantage.

When Maxey hit a trey from the wing with 1:40 left, the Sixers led 131-124.

Irving came back with a 3-pointer, Claxton added a dunk and the deficit was two.

Both teams scored on their next two possessions, leaving Philadelphia up by two with 13.1 seconds left. After a timeout, Melton was fouled and sank both free throws, and a subsequent Embiid steal sealed the win.

--Field Level Media