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.