NEW YORK (AP) — Spencer Dinwiddie scored 27 points, D’Angelo Russell added 22 in his best performance since returning from knee surgery, and the Brooklyn Nets snapped a four-game skid with a 116-108 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.
Rookie center Jarrett Allen, making his first start at home, had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who took charge of a close game with an 11-0 run early in the fourth quarter.
Dinwiddie had six points during the spurt and a pair of recent 76ers contributed the other five points in the first meeting since a trade between the teams last month.
Joel Embiid had 29 points and 14 rebounds for the 76ers, who dropped their third straight and fell back to .500 at 24-24. Ben Simmons scored 24 and J.J. Redick had 20 in his return from a seven-game absence with a leg injury.
Simmons was 9 of 10 for 18 points in his first 14 minutes but the Sixers couldn’t build much of a lead in part because of Russell, who recently returned from a two-month absence and felt good enough to play on both nights of a back-to-back.
Neither team led by double digits through three quarters and the 76ers were ahead 92-91 in the opening minute of the fourth before Nik Stauskas — traded by Philadelphia along with Jahlil Okafor to Brooklyn in December — made a 3-pointer. Dinwiddie followed with three free throws and another 3, and Okafor scored inside to cap the run and make it 102-92 with 7:09 to play.
Embiid tried to bring the Sixers back, bulling his way for consecutive baskets that cut it to 111-107. But soon after he fouled Allen and DeMarre Carroll, who made all four free throws to keep Brooklyn safely ahead.
76ers: Coach Brett Brown said he expects No. 1 draft pick Markelle Fultz, who appeared in just four games before a right shoulder injury, to play again this season. Brown just can’t predict when. “It’s just an answer that I can’t give anybody, we can’t give anybody, nor can he,” Brown said. “I mean at the end of the day it’s going to be when he feels good about himself and feels good about his shoulder, and that’s almost the bottom line. We’ll help him, but really he’s got to feel comfortable that he can go be himself and none of us should begrudge him for that.”
Nets: Coach Kenny Atkinson said the Nets hope reserve guard Caris LeVert (left groin) could return Friday, but starting forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (right groin) will be out a couple more games. … Carroll scored 15 points and has matched his career best with 12 straight games in double figures, set in 2014-15 for Atlanta.
Brown said the only reason Okafor wasn’t playing in Philadelphia before the 76ers dealt him to the Nets in December was because of the big men ahead of him in a crowded frontcourt the last couple of seasons.
“What everybody should really hear is, he’s just so young. He was drafted third for a reason,” Brown said. “He’s a hell of a player and for us in the time and the moment that we’re in and with Joel, etc., the court time just wasn’t available.”
SUPPORT FOR SAM
Atkinson was discussing the 76ers’ young talent when he pivoted to praise Sam Hinkie, the former Philadelphia executive whose strategy of building through the draft was heavily debated.
“I think of Sam Hinkie, there should be a management award for him, or a management study on what he did,” Atkinson said. “We can argue you like it, you don’t like it, but I was around him. I really like him as a person and I just think he did a phenomenal job and thinking long term like that, to have that vision that most of us don’t have, let’s be honest, I don’t think he gets enough credit.”
76ers: Host the Miami Heat on Friday.
Nets: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
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