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Go home – NBA: Embiid vs Durant

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Philadelphia 76ers beat Brooklyn Nets 110-102 and controversy broke out at the end. Embiid returned the kindness to Durant. It was an all-star duel in the Eastern Conference.

The Philadelphia 76ers beat Brooklyn Nets 110-102. They are in for a treat before ending the year beating the Conference leader. This is the first loss of the season for the Nets against a team in their division and confirms that the Sixers have found a way to overcome all the Ben Simmons mess on the court.

The way it started, it threatened to blow up the Philadelphia 76ers season. Sportingly they were left without their starting point guard, apparently without a replacement of guarantees. Mentally and institutionally, the public confrontation between the star and various levels of the franchise, including some of his teammates, was a time bomb for the stability of the wardrobe. We assume this is all what Simmons had in mind as a strategy to force him out, but none of that is happening.

Because Daryl Morey seems to be in no rush to transfer him and the team is giving him the reason to follow this strategy. The Sixers aren’t missing him, not least because of the stellar contribution of Tyrese Maxey, who is playing at a level above which almost anyone could have imagined. Tonight was one of the best examples of it. The point guard has definitively settled into the starting position and it is already becoming difficult to argue that the Sixers need a base of guarantees to be competitive. It seems they already have it.

Maxey scored 25 points for the Nets with 62.5% from 3s. 5/8 and several of them decisive in the result. Two at the end of the third quarter to reach the final 12 minutes ahead on the scoreboard after a Kevin Durant display left the Sixers down for the first time. And also another at the end that, accompanied by two other hits from the perimeter, one by Embiid and the other by Curry, left the game seen for sentence.

With the meeting already decided, the anecdote: Durant and Embiid had an exchange of words, let’s say not exactly friendly, which ended with the Cameroonian sending “home” to shouts to the forward as soon as the duel ended, while Durant, in the distance, he answered with thumbs up.

Two weeks ago, the Nets star invited the Sixers off the Brooklyn floor, not in the most polite way possible, after beating them. Embiid shouldn’t have forgotten that scene and took a little personal revenge on him tonight, although after the game the two showed mutual respect.

“If there is a player with more talent than me, it is him. I admire the way he plays, we are just competitive,” said Embiid.

“If you look at the games between Joel and me, it’s always like that, even at All Star. We respect each other so much that I guess this competitive fire comes naturally,” Durant explained.

In the end, the important thing is that a basketball show by two of the best players in the world could be seen. The pivot, who beyond his unquestionable talent was shown to be a problem for his rival due to the position he occupies on the court, finished the game with 34 points. The forward, who had not played for three games as he was within the anti-COVID protocols, with 33.

All this macerated by a triple-double by James Harden -33 + 14 + 10- who seems to recover feelings regarding a rather bad start to the season. It was the day that Kyrie Irving trained for the first time with his teammates. His debut is expected on Thursday, January 6 at Indiana, the Nets’ next game away from home. At the moment and without him, they still have the best record in the East.

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