Strong fourth quarter lifts Nets over 76ers
Through three quarters, the Brooklyn Nets could not shake the NBA's worst team.
But they completely dominated the fourth quarter, holding their opponents to only 10 points on the way to an 88-70 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
Leading 63-60 entering the fourth quarter, the Nets held the 76ers scoreless until Robert Covington hit a 3-pointer with 6:56 remaining in the game. Brooklyn scored the game's next 10 points and increased its lead to 18 on Darius Morris' dunk with three seconds remaining.
Mason Plumlee scored a season-high 18 points and added 10 rebounds for the Nets. They held the 76ers to 25 second-half points, tying the lowest second-half total for any opponent in franchise history.
''Rough for them is good defense for us,'' Plumlee said. ''We made a concerted effort to come out, lock in on defense and execute on offense in the third.''
The 76ers shot 4 for 15 from the field in the fourth quarter after going 4 for 19 in the third. For the game, Philadelphia shot 31.9 percent (22 for 69), including only 11 2-point field goals, the fewest made in an NBA game in the shot clock era.
''I don't know,'' 76ers coach Brett Brown said. ''We were 9 for 33 in the paint. We just couldn't score and some of it I give them credit. Brooklyn intimidated us at the rim. Going 9 for 33 in the paint is hard to do.''
The 76ers' 70 points tied their season low, which they previously set on Nov. 13 in a 123-70 loss to Dallas. They also committed 23 turnovers.
After trailing 28-18 early in the second quarter, the 76ers scored the next eight points and went on to take a 45-44 halftime lead on Henry Sims' dunk with 30 seconds left.
''I didn't think we played great, but a win is a win at this point and we've just got to continue to work hard and improve day in and day out,'' Brooklyn's Joe Johnson said.
Johnson and Alan Anderson each had 12 points for the Nets. Sergey Karasev added 11 and Deron Williams finished with 10 assists.
Covington led all scorers with 20 points. Michael Carter-Williams added 14 points and nine assists. Henry Sims also had 14 points and Tony Wroten scored 12 for Philadelphia.
76ers: Prior to the game, Philadelphia called up Ronald Roberts from their NBA Development League Affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. He started all eight games for them this season, averaging team highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds per game while shooting 67 percent from the floor. Jorge Gutierrez, acquired from the Nets along with Andrei Kirilenko on Thursday, was waived to make room. . The 76ers have lost five straight on the road to the Nets and have never won in Brooklyn.
Nets: Johnson returned to the Nets' lineup after missing the previous two games with the flu. His two made 3-pointers tied Keith Van Horn for sixth in team history with 335. . Coming into the game, the Nets had lost three straight by an average of 23.7 points. . The Nets' four straight wins over Philadelphia is their longest current winning streak against any opponent.
Plumlee recorded his second double-double of the season in a season-high 35 minutes. He had 12 points and 10 rebounds vs. Orlando on Nov. 9.
The 76ers' last victory over the Nets was a 105-87 win on April 23, 2012. That was in Newark, the Nets' final game before moving from New Jersey.
76ers: Host Memphis on Saturday
Nets: Visit Charlotte on Saturday