You set up a bonding experience with your son or daughter, one you hope will leave an impression on them and create a memory that will last a lifetime… for example, you get courtside seats, just behind the basket, for one of the first NBA playoff games in Brooklyn, ever.
Then everything hits the fan.
Joel Embiid commits a flagrant foul on Jarrett Allen, Jared Dudley rushes in and shoves Embiid to stand up for his teammate, Jimmy Butler runs in to shove Dudley on the same premise, and suddenly there is a wave of large professional athletes about to trample you and your son. So, you grab him, move onto the court, and get out of the way.
There were two fathers with the same thought, one on either side of the fracas that spills into the first row.
Jared Dudley has been in the face of the Philadelphia 76ers all series.
He was the guy who said Ben Simmons was “average” in the halfcourt (which echoed every scouting report on Simmons ever), prompting Simmons to respond, “It’s coming from Jared Dudley. C’mon.” The feud between the Sixers and Dudley was brewing.
NEW YORK —Joel Embiid scored and rebounded. He blocked shots and even threw the most important pass of the game.
The only thing he didn’t do is lose his cool after his hard foul triggered a scuffle.
After having to sit out the last game, there was no way Embiid was going to risk an ejection and miss his chance to help the Philadelphia 76ers seize control of the series.
Embiid had 31 points and 16 rebounds, and passed to Mike Scott for the go-ahead 3-pointer with 18 seconds left as the 76ers beat the Brooklyn Nets 112-108 on Saturday to take a 3-1 series lead.
Embiid also had a flagrant foul that led to a scuffle and two ejections during an eventful return to the lineup after missing Game 3 with a sore left knee.
“I know these guys are going to go at me because they want me to retaliate, so I’ve got to be mature when I’m on the court and just stay cool and not react,” Embiid said.
“Today I could have reacted but I felt like my team needed me more than they needed Jared Dudley, so I’ve just got to stay cool and mature and do my job.”
Tobias Harris had 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the 76ers. They can advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second straight season with a victory at home Tuesday night.
They got a big boost from the return of Embiid, who scored eight straight points in the fourth quarter after the Nets led by seven. He helped the 76ers overcome the loss of Jimmy Butler, who was ejected in the third quarter after Embiid’s hard foul on Jarrett Allen.
Even that ended up working out for the 76ers. Scott took what probably would have been Butler’s position on the floor in the final seconds and turned Embiid’s seventh assist into the go-ahead basket.
Embiid also had six blocked shots.
“Just look at the magnitude of what the numbers say, the influence that the numbers say that he must have had on the game,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “To have 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, six blocked shots and you win, well it’s hard to sort of say it any better than that. He was dominant.”
Caris LeVert scored 25 points after being inserted into the Nets’ starting lineup. D’Angelo Russell and Allen each added 21.
Dudley also was inserted into the starting lineup for the Nets and had been agitating the 76ers with his defense and his talking, but was gone midway through the third quarter as one of the central figures in the scuffle that spilled into the stands.
Embiid swung his arm forcefully while fouling Allen, and Dudley quickly moved in and bumped Embiid. Butler then ran in and pushed Dudley to start the shoving. Dudley, Simmons and referee Ed Malloy all got knocked into the seats, and after a lengthy video review, Butler and Dudley were given technical fouls and ejected, and Embiid’s foul was ruled a flagrant 1.
Dudley said he was trying to send a message. The Nets have been upset over an elbow Embiid hit Allen with in Game 2 that they felt should have been an ejection, and were further angered after when Embiid laughed as he apologized in his press conference.
“When you have a guy giving flagrant fouls, I mean Joel Embiid is second in the league in flagrant fouls,” Dudley said. “So for that elbow he had before just to have a flagrant 1, no fine, no nothing, laughing in the media, if you think that a team that I play on is going to have (to accept) that, that’s another thing coming, especially on this young team.”
Embiid would later make the biggest mark with his offense. The 76ers were trying to get the ball to him trailing by one after Joe Harris’ layup, but Embiid couldn’t control the pass under the rim. But he regained the ball and found Scott in the corner for a 3 and a 110-108 lead.
Allen then turned the ball over after three Sixers surrounded him and Harris closed out the scoring with two free throws. Nets coach Kenny Atkinson was angry afterward, feeling Allen was wrapped up by Harris as he tried to roll to the basket.
Dudley and Simmons jawed at each other after Dudley gave him a long stare with his arms up after hitting a 3-pointer during a 9-0 run that gave Brooklyn a 63-53 lead shortly before halftime. The Nets led 63-57 at the break.
Jimmy Butler, Jared Dudley ejected after scuffle following Joel Embiid block
It started with Joel Embiid making a hard block on a Jarrett Allen dunk attempt. Brooklyn’s Jared Dudley — who started for the Nets and has been huge for them this series — came in to protect his man and shoved Embiid. Then Jimmy Butler decided to protect his guy and ran in and shoved Dudley. Then it all broke loose, including D'Angelo Russell moving the pile with his shove.
After the official reviewed the video (and consulted with the official video center), Butler and Dudley were ejected as instigators — that is a win for Brooklyn, the 76ers lost the better player in that trade.
Embiid was given a flagrant 1 for a foul with contact to the head. For my money that’s over the top in this case, he got the ball and blocked the shot, and this is the playoffs. That was not an intentional blow.
The Nets got a couple free throws and the game moved on, but you can be sure this is going to linger.
The playoffs are just more fun when there is bad blood between the teams.
Playoff Edition Three Things to Know: Clippers comeback, Sixers third quarter make history
The NBA playoffs are underway and there can be a lot to unpack in a series of intense games, to help out we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.
1) Part Clippers’ comeback, part Warriors being bored, Los Angeles comes from 31 down to win. This is the “chicken or the egg” question: Was the Clippers 31-point comeback win more about the Clippers playing better or the Warriors just getting bored, missing shots, and playing poorly?
Like nearly everything in life, it’s not black and white, one or the other, it’s a little of both.
But know this: It was the greatest comeback in NBA playoff history. Think about that for a second. Greatest. Ever.
Golden State had been in control from the opening tip and the score was 94-63 with 7:30 left in the third quarter after a Kevin Durant dunk and-1 foul. Then it started — in the final 19.5 minutes of the game Los Angeles scored 72 points on 69.2 shooting and hitting 5-of-9 threes (for comparison, Indiana scored just two more points, 74, in its entire first playoff game).
On the other end, the Warriors went ice cold, shooting 29.6 percent and going 2-of-11 from three (18.2 percent).
Warriors led the Clippers by 14 points entering the fourth quarter. Teams up 14+ entering fourth quarter of a playoff game had won 110 straight until tonight.
Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr seems to get the chicken/egg credit/blame thing right to me: It starts with his team, but don’t take anything away from the Clippers. When most teams would have rolled over, they kept fighting through adversity.
“When I say we stopped playing, we stopped playing, like defense, offense, execution-wise we were not as engaged as we needed to be,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “We got exactly what we deserved. The Clippers were great. They executed, they were hungry, they stayed connected. They were together.”
NBA Twitter blamed the Warriors — and had a moment of schadenfreude watching Golden State come apart.
Lou Williams was spectacular for the Clippers with 36 points and 11 assists on the night, once he got rolling it didn’t matter if the Warriors defended him well he just hit leaners going left, every contested shot seemed to fall. Williams got help from Montrezl Harrell, who had another big game in this series with 25, while Danilo Gallinari added 24.
Kerr took some criticism for his rotations through the end of the fourth. However, this is less about who was on the floor, and more about how the players on the floor took care of business. The players stopped caring.
The Warriors are still the better team and while the series is 1-1 heading to Los Angeles we know how this will all end. The Warriors won’t be bored enough to let this happen again… probably. These Warriors do have their issues.
And now they are down a man.
2) DeMarcus Cousins leaves the game with a leg injury and he appears done for the playoffs. DeMarcus Cousins finally make the playoffs. He had a bit of a rough outing defensively in his first game, but Cousins finally was playing games after mid-April as the starting center on the team favorited to go get a ring.
Three minutes into the second quarter of his second playoff game, Cousins made a hustle play trying to chase down a loose ball, took an awkward step, and went to the ground.
That is the same leg in which he had the torn Achilles, which had sidelined him at the end of last season and most of this one.
Multiple reports now say it looks like a torn quad muscle (it’s actually better for Cousins if it’s the muscle and not the quad tendon in terms of recovery). An MRI will come Tuesday, but the Warriors are not optimistic, reports Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.
He didn’t return, and league sources confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area that there’s fear that Cousins might have torn his left quad. One source said the center’s prospects are “not good at all.”
“There’s a pretty significant quad injury,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the loss. “We’ll get an MRI tomorrow. But he’s going to be out for, I’ll just say a while.”
Not only does this mean the Warriors go to center by committee with Andrew Bogut and Kevon Looney the rest of the way, but also it could be a blow to Cousins’ free agent opportunities this summer (depending on what the MRI finds).
3) Philadelphia makes history with 51-point third quarter to even series with Brooklyn. Two days before, fans in Philadelphia were booing the Sixers and streaming out of the stadium early in disgust at their team’s poor play. And those fans were right.
Two nights later, this was the reaction inside the Wells Fargo Center.
OH YEAH, THATS WHAT WE LIKE TO SEE (AND HEAR).
Ben Simmons giving the crowd what they want with a big drive and hype up the crowd's cheers. He's got seven points and three boards already. pic.twitter.com/ylFQvrhzeG
The Sixers — and Ben Simmons in particular — attacked the basket from the start, used their superior athleticism, and were aggressive… and that still wasn’t enough because the Brooklyn bench was dynamic and the team was raining threes. It was a one-point game at halftime.
Then the Sixers came out in the third quarter and dropped 51. That ties the record for most points ever scored in a playoff game quarter. It was 28 more than the Nets scored in the frame, and the game was essentially over.
After three quarters the Sixers had scored 116 points and a 155 offensive net rating (points scored per 100 possessions). By early in the fourth it was garbage time.
Simmons had a triple-double of with 18 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds.
Joel Embiid added 23 points and 10 rebounds and was a +26 on the night. However, all most people were talking about was his elbow to the head of Jarrett Allen that earned him a Flagrant 1 (it could have been a Flagrant 2 and an ejection).
Embiid took this foul very seriously…
The series now shifts to Brooklyn and the Sixers are far from in the clear in this series. They have some real challenges, especially if they can’t stop the Nets bench, or offense in general.