Guard De’Anthony Melton has been a pleasant surprise for the Sixers lately, scoring 21 on 8-of-10 shooting in Sunday’s 121-99 road win over the Nets. That marked his fifth straight game in double figures.
“He’s such a good shooter, a good player,” coach Nick Nurse told reporters. “It’s huge for us because there should be a lot of crowded paint, so we’re going to need to shoot over the top of those sometimes.”
- All-Star center Joel Embiid praised the team’s effort at the defensive end. “It started on defense. We got a few stops. We were able to run in transition and then went small and we took advantage with a bunch of high-lows.”
- Embiid added: “We’re just working together. We’re doing a great job playing together.”
The Nets are playing well, for the most part, but have been doomed recently by opponents going on big runs to close a half.
“Teams are doing different things to us at the end of quarters to disrupt (us), so you have to have a poise about you,” coach Jacque Vaughn told reporters. “We’re still searching for that. We’ll continue to work on that and get better, but you see how those momentum plays make a difference, especially at the end of quarters.”
- Brooklyn is now 2-7 against teams with winning records.
- Guard Lonnie Walker IV said if the Nets are hoping for a turnaround, it will need to start at the defensive end. “Just making our presence felt,” he told reporters. “Let the [other] team feel us. … Our identity has to be defense.”
Guard Jalen Suggs told reporters Sunday’s road rout of the Pacers was all about striking first.
“Just come out and hit ’em in the mouth early,” Suggs said. ”It’s like a boxing match. Once you’ve got in their head, that they don’t want to get hit, they don’t want to play physical, they don’t want to play against tough defense … that’s hard to play against, night in and night out.”
- Six Orlando players scored at least 13 points in the game, as the Magic improved to 6-3 on the road.