Everything went exactly how Sixers fans would have wanted in game 1 vs the Nets. Not only did they win, but they did so in pretty convincing fashion. They beat the Nets 121-101. That dominant win came in the form of a record-breaking number of 3s for the Sixers in a single playoff game.
The old record for 3s was 18, which they did twice. Both of those came against the Heat in 2018. But today they dropped 21 3s. 7 from James Harden. 3 a piece from Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey. Two each by PJ Tucker and Georges Niang, And one by both Jalen McDaniels and Joel Embiid. As a team, they shot 48.8% from deep.
Obviously, Harden is the standout from 3 in this game. After struggling from deep in the playoffs last year, he got this run started going 7-13 from beyond the arc. He scored 23 points, with 13 assists to go with that. Tobias added 21 points of his own, and Maxey had 13. They didn’t even need the usual dominant performance from Joel Embiid to do so. The big man led the team with 26. But it never felt like they were relying on him. The Nets double-teamed him every time he touched the ball. But the rest of the team helped him deal with the relentless doubles. It was just a great overall team effort to crush the Nets.
And who could forget what Paul Reed did? His 11 pts and 4 rebounds do not tell the full story of what he did in game 1. There was a stretch in the 4th quarter where Reed could seemingly do no wrong. Multiple flashy buckets with a couple of offensive rebounds mixed in had the crowd chanting B Ball Paul at one point, and had Joel Embiid off his feet celebrating.
PAUL REED BETWEEN THE LEGS FOR MAJOR STYLE POINTS 😎 pic.twitter.com/I8riEWDkHE— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 15, 2023
Mikal Bridges gave them a very tough time in the first half. 23 points by halftime for the local guy. But they held him to just 7 in the 2nd half. And turned a 9-point halftime lead into a 20-point win where they were able to give their starters a break at the end.
An encouraging game from nearly every Sixers player. Their bench has been inconsistent at times. But if the Sixers can get 32 points off their bench every game, and shoot 5-13 from deep, the Sixers could be a very dangerous team this post-season.
Up next is game 2, which takes place Monday night at 7:30 pm.