Brooklyn Nets

Allen Iverson gives Sixers all he has from crowd in comeback

Allen Iverson gives Sixers all he has from crowd in comeback


Allen Iverson intently watched the Sixers pull out a 120-116 win over the Nets Friday standing on the court of the Wells Fargo Center (see observations)

After the buzzer sounded, he gave an impromptu postgame press conference as he walked through the room where Brett Brown addresses the media. 

“I’m very familiar with this right here,” Iverson said, laying his hand on the podium. 

When the topic of his desire to get in the game and still play came up, the 42-year-old Hall of Famer replied, “I always want to help, but I’m too old to help. I can’t help no more … I can’t play no more. “The Answer” has gone to heaven and Allen Iverson is still here.” 

Iverson was very much a part of the game from the sidelines. He stood during the final stretch in the fourth quarter, enthusiastically reacted to calls, and high-fived fans as the Sixers closed out the victory in the final seconds. 

“It’s awesome,” Ben Simmons said. “He wants us to win. He’s behind us. He can obviously see we have a lot of potential, which is awesome coming from him.” 

Iverson made a request about the Sixers, who at 38-30 are chasing a return to the playoffs and possibly home-court advantage. 

“Treat my ‘little dudes,’” Iverson said with air quotes, referencing how he described the players in an interview last week, “treat them right and give them a chance.”

The Sixers noticed Iverson's encouragement. 

“I saw him, I saw the support,” Joel Embiid said. “I like it. Like he said, we are his little dudes. I appreciate the support.” 

Sixers avoid another near-disaster with comeback

Sixers avoid another near-disaster with comeback


The Sixers got back on track at the Wells Fargo Center with a 120-116 down-to-the-wire win Friday over the Nets. They had to climb out of a 13-point deficit and play disciplined down the stretch to overcome the Nets, who have proved pesky this season. 

The Sixers moved up to 38-30 with the victory while the Nets fell to 22-48.

• Fans sang “Happy Birthday” to Joel Embiid while he shot free throws and then got creative with a new chant: “E-M-B-I-I-D Embiid” to the tune of “E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles.” Embiid posted 24 points, a career-high 19 rebounds, four assists and two blocks in spite of shooting 6 for 23 from the field. He was a perfect 11 of 11 from the free throw line.

• A timeline for determining Markelle Fultz’s availability still has not been set, Brett Brown said pregame. 

“I think at some point soon a decision is going to have to be made so that we can progress forward,” Brown said. “But sincerely, there is nothing going on right now that you all don’t know that I know.”

When asked if he thinks Fultz will play this season, Brown replied, “I truly don’t know.” 

• Former Sixers Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas returned to the Wells Fargo Center for the first time since being traded to the Nets in December. Okafor was greeted with some boos when he checked in, and the jeers got louder when he touched the ball. Okafor scored 10 points with three boards in 13 minutes.

Okafor said it was “weird” being in the visitors’ locker room and spending the night in a hotel. He actually got lost finding his way through a different arena entrance. 

“Being here where my NBA career basically started, it feels good to be back and see some familiar faces,” he said before the game. 

• Justin Anderson (11 points) got playing time after falling out of the rotation as of late. He dropped nine points in the first quarter off a trio of threes. More importantly, Anderson played tough defense with Embiid on Spencer Dinwiddie with 21 seconds left in regulation to maintain the Sixers’ lead. 

• Ben Simmons neared another triple-double (21 points, 12 assists, eight rebounds), which is becoming a common occurrence. Dario Saric (nine points) failed to score in double digits for only the second time since the beginning of December. 

• D’Angelo Russell, who averaged 24 points in the first two games against the Sixers, scored only eight points (3 for 14 from the field). The Nets were led by 21 points and 10 rebounds from Chester, Pa., native Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. 

• Hall of Famer Allen Iverson stood courtside to watch the game go down to the wire. Check out the whole video to see how he addressed the crowd. 

• Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman was also in attendance. 

Joel Embiid snaps out of recent funk with 'dominant' showing

Joel Embiid snaps out of recent funk with 'dominant' showing


NEW YORK — Joel Embiid is feeling more like himself.

After his production stalled in his last three games, Embiid had a bounce-back performance Sunday night against the Nets. With 21 points, eight rebounds, three assists and a monster block in only 26 minutes, the big man is getting back on track.

“I had more energy tonight,” Embiid said following the Sixers' 120-97 win (see observations). “I played harder than I had been playing for the past three or four games. I felt better today and I wanted to do that — I wanted to come out and be aggressive.”

Embiid reached 20 points for the first time in four games. He also shot better than 50 percent from the field for the first time this month. Embiid made a concerted effort to play more at the basket than trying to spread the floor and play on the wing. 

“I feel like the past three or four games I was kind of hesitant in the offense and I felt like I wasn’t getting the ball as much,” Embiid said. “Today that was one of the main things. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the perimeter just to open up the offense. But tonight, I wanted to be aggressive, get down low, get deep post-ups and just be a beast down there. I thought I did a better job, but I still wasn’t at the level that I should be at." 

Embiid tried to maximize his size advantage against the Nets. They started 6-foot-11, 234-pound rookie Jarrett Allen on him and also tried 6-11, 255-pound former Sixer Jahlil Okafor on him at times. 

“I thought he was dominant. He’s a hard matchup for this team,” Brett Brown said. “I thought he was extremely aggressive. I love when he tries to get deep catches in the paint and just find that balance of bullying his way into the game. I thought he had some big passes out of the post, really sophisticated passes.”

Embiid scored all but two of his buckets in the paint compared to a more sporadic shot selection in Miami. Check out the glaring difference in Embiid’s shot charts between Sunday’s win over the Nets and Thursday’s loss to the Heat, when he shot 5 for 18 from the field. 

The Sixers did not hold shootaround Sunday morning ahead of the game. They still could rest Embiid; they are trying to get their high-minute players some breaks before the playoffs. The need to do so didn’t seem as pressing Sunday, though.