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The Brooklyn Nets are looking to even up the series in Game 4 on Saturday night.
The 76ers are looking to grab a commanding 3-1 series lead
The 76ers grabbed control of the series in Game 3 with a convincing win over the Nets putting forth a strong collective offensive outing. This was done without the services of All-Star center Joel Embiid, who was declared out for the contest due to nagging issues with his knee stemming from tendonitis management with the situation. In light of that, All-Star point guard Ben Simmons put forth a strong offensive performance to lead the way with a playoff career-high 31 points on a highly efficient 11-of-13 shooting from the floor while dishing out nine assists in the blowout win on the road. It was a commanding performance from Simmons, who had entered the contest with many questions concerning his play offensively up to this point in his career. He certainly answered the bell with a strong showing that guided the 76ers to a crucial win without the services of Embiid, who has been their focal point of the offense when he has been on the floor.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 19, 2019
Meanwhile, forward Tobias Harris wasn’t outdone in the contest as he poured in a double-double posting 29 points and a game-high 16 rebounds while nailing all six of his 3-pointers. This was also a career-best performance for Harris in scoring while he is the first player to notch his numbers in a playoff game since the NBA first adopted the usage of the 3-point line in 1979-80. This game also featured a strong outing from JJ Redick pouring in 26 points with five 3-pointers. In fact, both Harris and Redick were responsible for all 11 made 3-pointers that Philadelphia had in the contest. With them stepping up in that manner without Embiid only further draws belief that they can push forward another strong outing to take a step closer toward moving to the second round of the playoffs with a win on Saturday night. However, there will be attention on Embiid’s health, but the 76ers have shown they can win without him on the floor if needed be in situations like this.
Nets hoping to knot up the series
Heading into Thursday’s contest, the Nets appeared to have the upper hand with Embiid being out of the contest, it turned out to not be the case for them as they fell in a blowout loss on their home floor. It was a performance that saw them struggle to play with any type of defensive efficiency giving up 131 points that included the 76ers notching more than 30 points in each quarter while shooting 47.9 percent from the floor, 40.7 percent from beyond the arc, and 26 assists. Their lack of effectiveness on that end of the floor had done them in for the contest making it difficult for their offense to garner any type of footing offensively due to the 76ers getting their way with their own scoring throughout that paced them to a comfortable win on the road. It has been the downfall in each of their two losses in the series giving up north of 130 points in each contest that included Philadelphia setting a franchise record with 145 points in Game 2 for a playoff game.
N:OW or never ❄️❄️❄️ pic.twitter.com/QFSrLgoBPP
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 19, 2019
This shifts more of the importance on them fine-tuning things defensively, but it’s something that they had shown they were capable of in Game 1 forcing the 76ers into a tough shooting performance. At the same time, they will continue to need strong production from their young core group offensively. All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell will need to continue to lead the way on that end of the floor in the process. Russell has been solid offensively in the series averaging 22.7 points per contest. This has seen him notch more than 20 points twice and knock down multiple 3-pointers in each game so far in the series. However, there has been a notable drop in assists as he’s averaging just 3.0 per contest while topping no more than four in any of the games. Meanwhile, Caris LeVert has stepped up offensively as he’s averaging 20.7 points while shooting 46.9 percent from the floor and 62.5 percent from 3-point range. LeVert has notched more than 20 points twice and multiple 3-pointer in each contest. Ultimately, if the Nets hope to get back in the series, it will need them to step it up defensively.
- Nets are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Nets are 1-4 ATS in their last five Conference Quarterfinals games.
- Nets are 1-4 ATS in their last five games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game.
- 76ers are 5-1 ATS in their last six Conference Quarterfinals games.
- 76ers are 4-1 ATS in their last five contests after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Although there remains cloudiness in terms of Embiid’s availability for the contest, the 76ers have shown they can more than hold their own without him. Regardless of what happens with his situation, Philadelphia should be in store for another strong outing on the road with the rest of their talented roster picking up the slack. In other words, this should likely be another comfortable performance in their favor.
Prediction: Philadelphia -2.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The only thing that has been certain for this series is that scoring has been the primary theme. The 76ers have scored more than 130 points in the last two games, including one without Embiid. Until the Nets can figure out how to slow them otherwise, expect another high-scoring affair. It should be noted that the over is 5-1 in the last six meetings between both teams.
Prediction: Over 233