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76ers off to face Nets feeling good again

76ers off to face Nets feeling good again

The Philadelphia 76ers descended into a skid when they first lost Joel Embiid to a left knee injury. While it is still unknown when Embiid will return, the 76ers may be starting to regain their footing.

The Sixers will seek a third straight victory when they face the Brooklyn Nets in New York on Tuesday night.

Embiid last played on Jan. 30 in Philadelphia's 119-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors, when he was injured after missing the previous two games. Since the center's last appearance, the Sixers are 6-8, though they are 5-4 since dropping four straight from Feb. 3-9.

The 76ers have produced consecutive victories for the second time since losing Embiid. Philadelphia followed up a 121-114 home win over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday by holding on for a 120-116 road victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon, when the 76ers nearly let an 18-point lead slip away.

Tobias Harris scored 28 points at Dallas after getting 31 against Charlotte. He made a combined 24 of 38 shots in those games after shooting 31.3 percent (21-for-67) from the field in his previous five contests. Tyrese Maxey added 24 points against the Mavericks and is averaging 27.2 points in 13 games since Embiid's last appearance.

"Everybody's kind of figuring out our chemistry overall as a group," Harris said. "We knew it was going to take some time ... figuring out ways to be successful out there. We've just got to stay at it."

The Sixers deployed a starting lineup with Kyle Lowry and Mo Bamba for the second straight game on Sunday while getting strong production from the bench trio of Nicolas Batum, Paul Reed and Kelly Oubre Jr., who combined for 41 points and 23 rebounds.

"We've got to get these (wins) right now," Reed said. "Playoffs are right around the corner. We've got to get there."

Including last spring's four-game sweep in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Sixers are 12-4 in the past 16 meetings with the Nets, including six straight wins in Brooklyn. The Nets recorded a 136-121 victory on Feb. 3 in Philadelphia by shooting 51.6 percent overall, hitting 20 3-pointers and getting 40 points from Cam Thomas.

Thomas missed his fourth straight game with an ankle injury on Monday as the Nets fell 106-102 to the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.

Brooklyn is 2 1/2 games behind 10th-place Atlanta for the final play-in spot in the East but was unable to follow up its strong performances in back-to-back wins over the Hawks last week.

Against Memphis, besides getting outrebounded 50-33 and allowing 25 second-chance points, the Nets shot 44.3 percent from the floor and 56.7 percent (17-for-30) at the foul line, their second-lowest free-throw percentage in a game this season.

"We got in a fight, we didn't swing. We didn't keep swinging," Brooklyn interim coach Kevin Ollie said. "And when you don't keep swinging, you get knocked out. And they knocked us out. Starting with me, coaching staff, players."

Nic Claxton scored 21 points against Memphis and Cameron Johnson added 18 after totaling 52 in the wins over Atlanta. The Nets are hoping to see Mikal Bridges resemble the player who scored 38 points on Saturday and not the one who was held to 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting against the Grizzlies.

--Field Level Media

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