Turnovers prove costly in Sixers' loss in Brooklyn

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Turnovers prove costly in Sixers' loss in Brooklyn

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK — The result was the same but the product looked much different than the last two games for the Sixers. 

This time, the Sixers were competitive.

The Sixers cut a 19-point deficit to two with 40.4 seconds to go against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night at the Barclays Center. They got close, but they never could get over the hump in a 108-102 loss (see Instant Replay).

“We got down twice big,” Brett Brown said. “To their credit they found a way to stay together and be in a position to maybe steal a win.”

The Sixers happily welcomed back Michael Carter-Williams to the starting lineup after a one-game absence due to right shoulder soreness. The rookie led the team in scoring with 21 points but he was 6 from 17 from the floor.

Carter-Williams also had six of the team’s season-high 26 turnovers, too. The turnovers proved to be as costly as expected.

“We had some careless turnovers,” Carter-Williams said. “We tried to force some shots that led to turnovers.”

The 26 turnovers led to 32 points for Brooklyn. 

“It continues to haunt us,” Brown said. “We have to get more responsible with the ball and I have to do a better job because it bites us continually.”

The Sixers committed nine turnovers in the first quarter and 10 turnovers in the third. They spread out the other seven between the second and the fourth quarters, both quarters they won.

“Isn’t that amazing how this sport works,” Brown said. “When you get to shoot you have a chance to score. At the end of end of the day, we talk about it but we haven’t addressed it. We play in a crowd. People think we can’t shoot. People see that we go to the rim more than anybody in the NBA, so they crowd the paint. We have to learn how to play better in that environment.”

Carter-Williams’ shooting percentage has dipped in his last seven games. This season he’s shooting a mediocre 40 percent from the floor, but over his last seven games that number is 34 percent. Some of that is caused by poor shot selection.

“Michael tried to impose himself on the game,” Brown said of Carter-Williams' 6 for 17 shooting. “At times he took some shots that perhaps he would reconsider. But at times games like that, given the pace and us moving, give those types of numbers.”

The numbers Brown referred to was the field goal attempts. MCW had 17 field goal attempts, Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner combined for 15. 

Still, there were seven Sixers players that attempted seven or more field goals.

The Nets played without Joe Johnson, who sat out with knee tendinitis. Brooklyn was led in scoring with 25 points from Paul Pierce.

The Nets lead the season series 2-1 with a final meeting at the Wells Fargo Center on April 5.

Sixers-Magic 5 things: Hoping for a dry court with rested roster

Sixers-Magic 5 things: Hoping for a dry court with rested roster

The Sixers (4-14) will tip off against the Orlando Magic (7-12) at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night (7 p.m./CSN and CSNPhilly.com).

Let's take a closer look at the matchup:

1. Floored
Let's try this again.

The Sixers will return to the Wells Fargo Center court for the first time since Wednesday's game against the Sacramento Kings was postponed because of moisture on the floor.

While the Sixers were frustrated that they couldn't face the Kings, the team was also happy that player safety was made the top priority in the postponement decision.

"It was disappointing not to play," head coach Brett Brown said after practice on Thursday. "It got to a stage the longer that it went and it was being prolonged and prolonged, I'm glad that ultimately we didn't play."

2. Rested and ready
The postponement of Wednesday's game means the Sixers haven't played since Monday's road loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Center Joel Embiid should be even more rested than his teammates since he didn't make the trip north of the border because it was the second game of a back-to-back set.

When Embiid does return to action Friday against the Magic, he will have a little more freedom. The NBA's Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month had his minutes restriction raised from 24 to 28 earlier this week.

That should only mean good things for Embiid, who turned in a strong effort when the Sixers faced off against the Magic earlier this season. Embiid recorded 18 points and 10 boards for his first-ever double-double in a 103-101 loss to Orlando back on Nov. 1.

3. Protection plan
Perhaps Embiid's bump in minutes will help the Sixers better protect the paint this time around.

During the season's first meeting, in which the Sixers blew an 18-point lead, the Magic scored a massive 60 points in the paint. Former Sixer Nikola Vucevic and Serge Ibaka led the way with 45 combined points.

The Sixers can't allow that type of production inside, especially from a team that ranks 25th in the league with an average of 39.5 points in the paint per game.

4. Injuries
Jerryd Bayless (wrist), Nerlens Noel (knee) and Ben Simmons (foot) are out for the Sixers.

Former Sixer Jodie Meeks (foot) is a game-time decision for the Magic.

5. This and that
- The Sixers have lost three straight to the Magic.

- Vucevic has averaged 20.3 points and 13.2 rebounds against the Sixers during his career.

- Dario Saric scored a career-high 21 points on 9 of 14 shooting in the season's first clash.

Nerlens Noel assigned to D-League again for practice

Nerlens Noel assigned to D-League again for practice

Nerlens Noel is going back to the D-League to continue his left knee rehab.

The Sixers assigned Noel to their Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, on Friday to practice with the team. Noel also practiced with the Sevens on Wednesday before his first practice with the Sixers on Thursday.

This season the Sixers have been utilizing their D-League affiliation as a resource during injury recoveries. Jerryd Bayless (wrist) practiced twice with the team ahead of his season debut. Bayless, however, has dealt with more wrist soreness and is out for Friday's game. He is questionable for Saturday's game against the Celtics.

Noel underwent elective arthroscopic knee surgery in October. On Thursday he participated in live work and scripting with the Sixers. After practice, he maintained his stance on the Sixers crowded frontcourt. 

“I don't think the roster's changed,” Noel said Thursday. “So, I don't think the roster's changed.”

The Sixers do not practice on Friday. They have a morning shootaround before their game against the Magic at 7p.m.