76ers and Kings Move to 2-0 Over Nets and Warriors

Monday night in the 2023 NBA Playoffs saw the Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings move to 2-0 in their respective series against the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors. One outcome was expected, but the defending champs are in some real trouble now.

Tyrese Maxey Shines with 33 Points for 76ers in Low-Scoring Win

While the Nets cut down their turnovers from 19 to 9 for Game 2, the shooting touch on display Saturday was all but gone as the Nets scored a season-low 84 points. The Nets shot a brutal 37.5% from the field in the 96-84 loss that was closer than it sounds.

The Nets were 12-1 when holding opponents to 100 points or fewer this year, but Philadelphia still found a way to control play after halftime despite Joel Embiid (20) and James Harden (8) combining to score 28 points on 9-of-24 shooting.

Point guard Tyrese Maxey was the star with 33 points and six made threes. Tobias Harris also added 20 points and 12 rebounds, showing the depth of the 76ers. Embiid did have 19 rebound after just a handful of boards in Game 1, but the supporting cast rallied to save the day this time after the 76ers trailed 49-44 at halftime. The Nets were limited to 14 points in the third quarter.

Mikal Bridges was held to 21 points this time after dropping 30 points in Game 1. Cameron Johnson scored a team-high 28 points for the Nets, who were down 69-68 with just over 10 minutes to play before the 76ers went on the run that iced the game.

The 84 points are the second fewest the 76ers have allowed in a game this season. This is the first time the 76ers were able to win a game this season after being held under 100 points.

Kings Close Warriors After Draymond Green Gets Ejected

De'Aaron Fox
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Photo by Icon Sport

The exciting game of the night saw the Kings drop the Warriors to 0-2 in a series for the first time in the Steph Curry era. The Warriors were actually favored to win the game on the road where they are now 11-32 this season.

Golden State was unusually sloppy with 20 turnovers, and Steph Curry shot 3-of-13 from three. Draymond Green was ejected in the fourth quarter after stomping his foot on the chest of Domantas Sabonis.

It was just that kind of night for Golden State. Even when the veteran Warriors made their runs, the Kings found a way to answer back in front of a raucous crowd. After a Steph Curry three tied the game at 52 in the first half, the Kings closed on a 6-0 run to take a 58-52 lead into the locker room.

Green’s ejection came nearly halfway through the fourth quarter with the Kings leading 91-87. The Warriors would tie the game at 93, but the Kings kept getting answers from De’Aaron Fox, who led the league in points scored during clutch situations by a wide margin this season.

With 2:29 left, Curry missed a game-tying three, which was then answered by a massive three from Fox to give the Kings a 107-101 lead. Davion Mitchell delivered the dagger with another three with 1:17 left to give the Kings a 112-103 lead. The Kings won 114-106.

Fox and Sabonis both scored 24 points for the Kings. Malik Monk continues to play well with 18 points off the bench. Curry scored a game-high 28 points, and Andrew Wiggins was solid in his second game back with 22 points for Golden State. Jordan Poole continues to struggle, shooting 1-of-7 for 4 points. The Sacramento bench outscored Golden State’s bench 36-21.

The series will shift to Golden State for the next two games, but the Kings (9-11 SU) were tied for the second-best straight-up record as a road underdog this season. They look the part of a favorite right now.

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