National Basketball Association
Philadelphia 106, Brooklyn 101
When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
#11 Derrick Collins, #5 Kane Fitzgerald, #39 Tyler Ford
NEW YORK -- Separation was hard to come by for the Philadelphia 76ers in a game that coach Brett Brown described as a "fistfight."
Fortunately for the 76ers, Robert Covington was perfectly positioned under the basket for a key basket down the stretch.
Covington totaled 21 points and 13 rebounds and converted the go-ahead putback layup with 86 seconds remaining, and Philadelphia outlasted the Brooklyn Nets for a 106-101 victory Tuesday night.
"If you look back at some of our close games this year, he's been there on putback situations a few times," Brown said. "I think it's as many as four times that he's come up with those snaky offensive rebounds where he just finds a way to come up with the ball after we missed the shot.
"He's committed. He's long. I think people don't understand, he's got a 7-foot-6 wingspan. He really is long and he can get to balls you might not think he can get to and that example is one of them."
The Sixers (28-46) matched their win total from the previous two seasons by winning a game that featured 21 lead changes and 12 ties.
Covington gave Philadelphia the lead for good thanks to savvy positioning under the rim. With 1:27 left, T.J. McConnell missed a six-footer but Covington quickly scooped the rebound and converted the basket.
"It's just a matter of going to the offensive glass and being in the right spot at the right time because at any point in time you never know what can happen," Covington said. "But you never know unless yourself in that position. That's what coach has given me that free will to go and do it."
Following a traveling turnover by Brooklyn point guard Jeremy Lin, McConnell hit two free throws with 53.5 seconds for a three-point lead. After Brook Lopez missed an open 3-pointer late in the shot clock with 32.9 seconds, Richaun Holmes iced it at the line with seven seconds left and the game ended when Dario Saric secured the rebound of Justin Hamilton's missed 3-point attempt.
"I thought they played really well," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "It felt like they the more physical team, the more energetic team and just really deserved to win. There's just no way around it."
Dario Saric led the 76ers in scoring for the 17th time with 23 points. He shot 8 of 15 after missing 12 of 15 shots in Sunday's loss at Indiana.
The Sixers played with nine available players due to injuries but placed five in double figures. Besides Saric and Covington, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot added 17, Holmes contributed 13, Nik Stauskas chipped in 11 and McConnell handed out 10 assists.
"We got down, it was a fist fight for most of the game and we found a way to execute at the end," Brown said.
Lopez led the Nets (16-58) with 26 points on 10 of 15 shooting. He also totaled nine rebounds and six assists but was provided little help.
"I don't know if it was a combination of the juice or concentration and focus but we were just throwing a lot of balls away and just missing opportunities and making mistakes," Lopez said.
Rondae-Hollis Jefferson and Lin added 11 apiece but were a combined 9 of 29 from the field as the Nets shot 40.4 percent.
The Nets were unable to win for the fourth time in five games and fell to 7-9 in March. Brooklyn went scoreless in the final 2:29 and never led by more than two points in the fourth.
NOTES: C Jahlil Okafor (right knee soreness) sat out for the third straight game and fourth time in five games, leading to speculation the 76ers are shutting him down for the rest of the season. Coach Brett Brown said shutting down Okafor has not come up in any conversations as of Tuesday. "He wants to play," Brown said. "He doesn't want this." ... Brooklyn G Sean Kilpatrick returned after missing seven games with a strained left hamstring and scored nine points in 11 minutes. ... Philadelphia G Sergio Rodriguez (left hamstring tightness) missed the game and will be re-evaluated in a week. ... Nets G Joe Harris (sprained left shoulder) missed his 14th straight game. ... Philadelphia G Gerald Henderson (left hip soreness) sat out. ... Philadelphia C Tiago Splitter made his season debut when he played seven minutes in the first half. Splitter had not since injuring his calf Jan. 31, 2016, for the Atlanta Hawks.
Top Game Performances
Dario Saric 23
Brook Lopez 26
T.J. McConnell 10
Jeremy Lin 7
Robert Covington 13
Brook Lopez 9
Dario Saric 6
||Free Throws Made
Spencer Dinwiddie 5
T.J. McConnell 3
Jeremy Lin 4
Justin Anderson 2
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 2
Team Stats Summary
Brooklyn will play their next game on the road against Detroit. The Nets have a W/L % of .062 after a win and .259 after a loss.
Philadelphia will play their next game at home against Atlanta. The 76ers have a W/L % of .393 after a win and .370 after a loss.