PHILADELPHIA -- Before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference opening-round series with the 76ers, Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson was expecting the Sixers to come out full force after their Game 1 clunker
"We expect a haymaker," Atkinson said. "We know it is coming."
Maybe not an early knockout punch, but plenty of effective body blows and then the haymaker arrived with a 14-0 run to begin the third quarter. The result was a 145-123 win over the Nets on Monday, evening their best-of-seven series at one game apiece. The 145 points set a club playoff record.
Game 3 is 8 p.m. Thursday in Brooklyn.
Looking from a history perspective, this was basically a must-win situation for the Sixers. They have never overcome an 0-2 deficit in a playoff series.
Now they don't have to worry about that.
Leading, 65-64, at halftime, the Sixers got their transition game going in scoring the first 14 points of the second half.
Joel Embiid, who scored 10 points in the first half, added nine in that 14-0 run. He finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
The lead expanded to 116-87 by the end of the third quarter. The Sixers outscored the Nets, 51-23 in the third quarter. The 51 points were also a team playoff record and tied an NBA record.