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.

Bryan Colangelo on Joel Embiid setback: 'We're reacting in a way that's proactive'

Bryan Colangelo on Joel Embiid setback: 'We're reacting in a way that's proactive'

The timetable for Joel Embiid's return to the court keeps getting murkier.

Embiid was ruled out indefinitely on Monday and will now have an MRI on his injured left knee (see story). He initially suffered a bone bruise on Jan. 20 and it was revealed on Feb. 11 that he had a minor meniscal tear.

The Sixers previously had a plan of rest and rehab in place and targeted a March 4 return for the big man. 

"With respect to what's developed over the last couple of days, it's quite simple, Joel developed a little bit of swelling and soreness," Sixers president Bryan Colangelo said during Monday's edition of Philly Sports Talk. "We're reacting in a way that's proactive. We wanted to be more communicative with our fans. We wanted to make sure that there's less question about whether or not he would be available. This is literally changing out for the next two games now to out indefinitely."

That's a quick change of events. As recently as Friday, Embiid was on track to be back in uniform this week.

"I was in a situation where the latest update on Friday was that he was doing well through his planned progression toward returning to play," Colangelo said. "In recent days, his training has developed a reaction with swelling and soreness, and thus we wanted to take a step back, put him on ice for a minute and make sure that we do everything possible, including getting another scan done."

Embiid initially suffered the injury against the Portland Trail Blazers on Jan. 20. The rookie sensation missed three games before coming back vs. the Houston Rockets in a national TV matchup on Jan. 27. He has missed all 13 games since facing the Rockets.

Even with Embiid’s diagnosed tear of his meniscus and recent flaring up of the knee after rehab sessions, the Sixers are being supremely cautious when it comes to any potential procedures. The team is not in a rush to put the center back under the knife after he missed the first two seasons of his career because of a pair of foot surgeries.

"With all due respect, medical injuries are injuries that require care and attention," Colangelo said. "When I take information that comes from the medical team, including doctors and the training staff and the physiotherapists, we apply it as instructed and we do that to protect the athlete. In a case of jumping into someone's knee to operate, when the circumstances are known but the conditions and how he's reacting to certain things are still unknown, I think you go through the planned progression of steps as prescribed and evaluated by doctors."

The quick decision to label Embiid out indefinitely is a sharp contrast to prior updates on the phenom. Just last week, Embiid lamented how the Sixers never announced a true timetable for his return (see story).

Now just days later, Embiid has a prognosis that could technically keep him out for the remainder of the regular season. 

Embiid has proven his worth in 31 games this season by averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 25.4 minutes a night. But with only 23 games left on the schedule, will he suit up again this season?

"Out indefinitely means just that. It's indeterminate at this point," Colangelo said. "I think we're all hopeful to get him out there. It would be beneficial for the fans to see him again. It would be great for us as a unit to have him out there as we continue to strive toward winning as the season concludes.

"But at the end of the day, the health and performance of our athletes is first and foremost. We don't want to jeopardize the long-term health."

Sixers waive big man Andrew Bogut

Sixers waive big man Andrew Bogut

To no surprise, Andrew Bogut is not part of the process.

The veteran big man, acquired in the Nerlens Noel trade last week, was waived by the Sixers on Monday night.

The Vertical's Shams Charania and ESPN's Marc Stein first reported the news of both parties agreeing to a contract buyout.

Bogut was included in the Sixers-Mavericks deal that sent Noel to Dallas in exchange for the 32-year-old center, Justin Anderson and a top-18 protected first-round pick (which will likely turn into two second-round picks).

Bogut will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Per a report Sunday by ESPN's Tim MacMahon, Bogut was set on joining Clevelend once a contract buyout with the Sixers was finalized. Bogut will have discussions with the Cavaliers, Spurs, Celtics and Rockets before making his decision, according to Stein's report.

Bogut played 26 games for the Mavericks this season, averaging 3.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.