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News » 76ers hold off winless Nets


76ers hold off winless Nets


76ers hold off winless Nets EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - In a young season already filled with some not-so-good moments, a loss to the winless New Jersey Nets last night would have been the worst for the 76ers .

It would have been bad because New Jersey's bench looked like a brokerage firm: lined with suits.

The Nets were missing four key players from a team that, even with its starters, isn't all that competitive.

And still, on the game's final possession, New Jersey had a chance.

But on its final inbounds play, New Jersey committed a scratch-your-head turnover that secured the Sixers' 82-79 victory at the Izod Center.

The Sixers improved to 4-4; the Nets are 0-8.

The Nets were without all-star point guard Devin Harris, and regulars Chris Douglas-Roberts, Yi Jianlian, and Courtney Lee.

On the Nets' last-second sideline inbounds play - in front of their own basket - point guard Rafer Alston inexplicably threw a pass to Sixers forward Thaddeus Young.

The Nets, surprised and confused by Alston's miscue, did not foul.

"It doesn't really matter; to be honest, you can keep playing that way at home, too," said Sixers forward Jason Kapono, who scored eight points.

"A win's a win if it's ugly, if it's beautiful. Obviously, we have some stuff to work on and learn. We're still not clicking, but the chemistry is getting better."

With 1 minute, 10 seconds remaining, Sixers reserve forward Marreese Speights - who is playing starter's minutes ? grabbed an offensive rebound, scored, and was fouled: Speights completed the three-point play for an 80-79 lead.

It was the Sixers' final bucket.

"I know we have some good players like Andre [Iguodala] and Thad who can score it," said Speights, who finished with 19 points. "But I'm going to try to get the rebound and score it, though."

"He's got great swag, I guess they call it nowadays, great confidence," Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said. "He's got terrific skill and he's scoring inside with contact and making plays and free throws. His confidence is soaring, and guys feel that and they put the ball in his hands."

Down the stretch, the Nets went to second-year center Brook Lopez, who had game highs of 23 points and 14 rebounds.

With 15 seconds left, and trailing by a point, New Jersey dumped the ball to Lopez, who was defended one-on-one by Sixers center Samuel Dalembert.

Dalembert forced Lopez into a spin toward his off hand: Lopez missed.

Dalembert snagged the rebound and was fouled. He made 1 of 2, pushing the Sixers' lead to 81-79.

A few seconds and a missed Nets' three-pointer later, Young also made only 1 of 2 free throws, giving New Jersey its chance - that final failed inbounds play.

Young led the Sixers in scoring with 20 points, 16 in the first half.

Once again, Sixers starting power forward Elton Brand did not play in the fourth quarter. Brand, who was on the court for only 5 minutes, 29 seconds of the second half, finished the game 0 for 6 from the field with five points.

In the locker room after the game, Brand was not available.

"It was winning time on the road against a desperate team . . .," Jordan said. "We feel like we're desperate, too."

Kate Fagan blogs about the 76ers at http://go.philly.com/dsixContact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 12, 2009

 

 
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