Philadelphia 76ers

Doc Rivers says 'We can’t finish games that way' as 76ers collapse late in home opener vs. Nets

Over the final 5:32 minutes of their home opener against the Brooklyn Nets, the Philadelphia 76ers gave up a 10-point lead and eventually went on to lose 114-109 by allowing the Nets to go on a game-sealing run 16-1 run.

Yes, that's right, they scored one point in the final 5:30 minutes which includes a couple of air-balls from Danny Green and a free-throw miss from super-efficient Seth Curry.

"We can't finish games that way," head coach Doc Rivers said after the Nets game. The 76ers missed their final nine shots as Rivers attributed the late-game offensive stagnation to a lack of ball movement.

Prior to the Nets' run, the 76ers led for the entirety of the game but couldn't get a shot to fall late. This is the third time in their last five games - regular season and playoffs - the Philadelphia 76ers have squandered a double-digit lead.

In Game 4 of their 2021 Conference Semifinals series with the Hawks, they gave up an 18-point lead and in Game 5, they outdid themselves by giving up a 26-point lead.

While the magnitude of this loss isn't as great as the ones in the postseasons, can Doc Rivers and 76ers start delivering when the pressure turns up?

In the final 90 seconds of this contest, Rivers did not challenge a couple of calls that seemed like they could have been overturned after a review. Postgame, Rivers said he turned down on challenging those calls because the team's video coordinator gave him a 'thumbs down'.

For the Nets, who were coming off a 23-point loss on opening night, this victory was huge.

"Really just proud of the guys for their competition level but they stuck with it," Nets head coach Steve Nash said postgame. "A lot of different combinations played. I think we got a little bit of a confidence boost."

Veteran LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished 23 points in 22 points off the bench on an incredible 10-of-12 shooting from the field, was responsible for nine of the Nets' 16 points in their game-sealing run.

"In this day in age, the mid-range is considered a bad shot," Aldridge said postgame. "I got 19k points off the mid-range, so you tell me it's a bad shot, I don't believe you."

Aldridge's plus-minus of +21 was the highest among Nets. Kevin Durant was the game's top performer as he recorded a triple-double of 29 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists.

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