It looked all too familiar there for about five minutes. The Sixers had built a 21-point lead halfway through the third quarter, but appeared all too eager to cough it back up--the Nets went zone on offense, the Sixers' offense sputtered, and the Nets started chopping, getting as close as within nine points in the fourth quarter. But Philly held strong this time, thanks largely to a whole lot of offensive rebounds, a signature explosive effort off the bench from Lou Williams, and a fantastic all-around game from Jrue Holiday, and sealed the deal this time around, winning 106-92.
Jrue was creeping on double-digits all game, establishing a handful of brilliant connections (alternating giving and receiving) with Andre Iguodala, but his production slowed down in the second half, and with a few minutes to go, it looked like he might fall a little short. But the Sixers cleared out for him to grab a defensive board on a Nets missed free throw with the game already decided in the waning minutes, and that secured it for the Damaja--his first career triple-double (11/10/10--one of those cheap-ish Jason Kidd triple-doubles, but a triple-double just the same), and the first by a Sixer since Andre Miller in April '09.
Congrats to Jrue, who in just his second season has become a great source of stability at the most important position in the NBA to have stability at, and who should be notching a few more nights like this over his Sixers tenure before all is said and done. Think he feels good about getting in on that Rookie-Sophomore game? Well, in actuality he might not give a damn, but whatever. Happy coincidence.
So the Sixers win their second straight road game, against a team that hadn't lost at home in five tries, and move to 22-26 for the season. What's more, they did so decisively (just like I asked them to--how sweet!) and left little doubt which of the two teams was playoff-bound, and which was already starting to regroup for next year. Not a bad way to start off the month of February, I'd say--even if Evan Turner didn't quite have the monster game I predicted, falling two points, two boards and a dime short of my predicted 9/4/2 stat line. Get 'em next time, ET.