Aggressive, attacking Philadelphia has 51-point third, pulls away to even series 1-1

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For the first half of Game 2, it felt a little too much like Game 1 — a Brooklyn win — for Philadelphia’s liking. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were being aggressive, but the Nets’ bench was dominating the Sixers reserves, plus Philadelphia could not string together stops. It was a one-point game.

A 51 point quarter will solve those problems.

Philadelphia tied the NBA record for most points in a playoff quarter with 51, pulling away from Brooklyn (which had just 23 points in the third) and never looking back in a 145-123 win.

The first-round series is tied 1-1 headed to Brooklyn for Game 3.

Simmons set the tone early — Joel Embiid won the opening tip, Simmons took it and went straight to the rim (a shot he missed). From there on he was in attack mode and he finished the night with his second career playoff triple-double, with 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. How aggressive was he? Look at this shot chart.

Joel Embiid was pounding his way inside at the same time… and at one point pounding a little too hard on Jarrett Allen and picking up a Flagrant 1 (it could have been a Flagrant 2 and an ejection).

Still, thanks to strong bench play and knocking down their threes (it was a 24-3 point differential from deep at one point), Brooklyn would not go away. Philadelphia could not figure out how to get stops.

Then the third quarter came and it didn’t matter.

Philly scored on its first nine possessions of the second half, jumping out on a 20-2 rum that just kept going and going. Philly finished the quarter with 51 points on just 26 possessions. Philly also scored on 12 of their final 14 possessions of the half.

Simmons and the Sixers were not getting booed this time.

The Sixers had 116 points and a 155 net rating (points scored per 100 possessions. By early in the fourth it was garbage time.

Embiid finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, and was a +26 on the night. Six Philly players were in double figures, including Tobias Harris (19 points) and J.J. Redick with 17.

Spencer Dinwiddie led the NEts with 19 points off the bench, while D’Angelo Russell added 16.