The Philadelphia 76ers are looking to complete the sweep of the Brooklyn Nets and move on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. As the Brooklyn Nets prepare to defend their home court for possibly the last time of the 2022-23 season, let Game-Time Sharks Philadelphia provide the best insight for you ahead of game four.
Note that with Joel Embiid ruled out, it certainly changes things on the game.
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Game Three Recap
Game three of the Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets has put the NBA and the media in a state of frenzy. Multiple game-altering ejections have left NBA players, coaches, and fans wondering what warrants a flagrant one vs. a flagrant two foul; but that is a story for another time.
The Sixers managed to defeat the Nets 102-97 in another defensive battle where this year’s scoring champion, Joel Embiid, was held to just 14 points. From the very beginning, the Nets came out with a lot of energy and it was evident that they were not going to just lay down for the Sixers in this one. Nic Claxton played his best game of the series, providing 18 points and a couple of exciting dunks that led to several altercations with Sixers big man, Joel Embiid. Brooklyn opened up the second half on a 14-0 run, and the Sixers looked like they were in serious trouble. To make matters worse, James Harden was ejected for a questionable flagrant two-foul late in the third quarter, and Joel Embiid was battling through a couple of injuries obtained from the physicality in this one.
With Harden forced to exit the game and Embiid not fully healthy, Tyrese Maxey stepped up and delivered a team-high 25 points and multiple clutch baskets in crunch time. The Brooklyn Nets had a well-balanced scoring attack with Mikal Bridges leading the way with a game-high 26 points. With eight seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Spencer Dinwiddie’s game-tying layup was blocked by Joel Embiid, and the Sixers were able to close this tight one out to go up 3-0 in the series.
ESPN Sources with @Ramonashelburne: An MRI revealed Sixers star Joel Embiid suffered a sprained right knee and will miss Game 4 vs. Brooklyn on Saturday. There’s optimism he could be ready to return as soon as early next week. pic.twitter.com/Btwm3ls8Vh
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 22, 2023
Betting Lines and Prediction
The Philadelphia 76ers have covered the spread in all three games against the Brooklyn Nets thus far. Will they have enough in the tank to close this series out on the road is the real question.
Provided to you by BetMGM
76ers: -1.5 ATS, -130 ML
Nets: +1.5 ATS, +110 ML
Total: O/U 208.5 points
Throughout this series, the Sixers have shown that their star power is just too much to handle for the Brooklyn Nets. Joel Embiid, who is this year’s NBA scoring champion, has averaged 33.1 points per game this year. Against the Nets this series, he is averaging 20.0 points per game. This goes to show that the Sixers have the ability to beat you in a variety of ways. However, with their star player and point-getter out, can the Sixers find a way to make up for that huge loss?
Maxey, Harden, and Tobias Harris are showing that they have the capability to score 20+ points per game when they are not taking a back seat to the potential MVP of the league.
However, watching the second half of game three was painful from the 76ers’ point of view. Joel Embiid was going back to the locker room for treatment and hobbling by the end of the game. As Woj reported, he will miss this game.
James Harden also showed discomfort after colliding knees with Mikal Bridges.
The Sixers blew an 11-point halftime lead and have lost the turnover battle the last two games by a significant margin (6+). Game four is an extremely short turnaround as well, as this game is scheduled for April 22nd, at 1:00 PM (ET). This gives James Harden less than 48 hours to recover before being asked to perform at a high level again.
Finally, the Sixers’ offensive play calling was much different following Embiid’s injuries. Instead of getting Embiid the ball and having him make the Nets double him, the Sixers transitioned to more of a one-on-one game. Now, it worked out at the end of game three because Tyrese Maxey caught fire and could not miss, but do not expect the same kind of efficiency if this is how the Sixers plan to run their offense in game four. The home-court advantage, physical play, and nagging injuries sustained by the Sixers’ star players will be enough for the Nets to cover and maybe even steal a game.