LOS ANGELES, USA – D’Angelo Russell scored 26 points as the sixth-seeded Brooklyn Nets upset the Philadelphia 76ers 111-102 in their opening NBA playoff game on Saturday, April 13 (Sunday, April 14, Manila time).
Russell also had 3 rebounds and 3 assists to hand the Nets a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series between the two Eastern Conference rivals.
The Nets were reliant on a big performance from their bench, with 3 players delivering double-digit displays to boost their offense.
Caris LeVert had 23 points while Spencer Dinwiddie added 18 and Ed Davis 12 as the Nets silenced the Sixers’ home Wells Fargo Center crowd.
The Sixers meanwhile saw Jimmy Butler lead the scoring with a playoff career high 36 points in vain while ailing Joel Embiid had 22 points.
But it was a disappointing outing for Australian star Ben Simmons, who was restricted to just 9 points.
Embiid had been doubtful with left knee soreness and was cleared to play less than 10 minutes before the game. Embiid, who missed 14 of the team’s final 24 games, looked hampered by his injury.
Sixers fans showed their frustration by booing their players and Embiid says it plays on their minds.
“The fact is after every single miss,” he said. “Every missed shot, then you get booed. You get the next one and you think ‘Should I shoot it or not because I’m about to get booed?'”
Game 2 in the series takes place in Philadelphia on Monday. – Rappler.com