The Philadelphia 76ers have evened the series at 1-1 following a blowout Game 2 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
They used a historic third quarter, scoring an NBA Playoff record-tying 51 points, to turn a one-point halftime lead into a 29-point lead going into the fourth quarter to decide the outcome of this game.
Joel Embiid led all scorers with 23 points while a much more aggressive Ben Simmons notched a triple-double of 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
D'Angelo Russell was the only Nets' starter to score in double figures with 16 points, but the All-Star point guard failed to record a basket in the second half.
For more on Game 2 between the 76ers and Nets, we have you covered with four takeaways...
76ers' third-quarter run
The Nets surged back into the game to close out the second quarter, leaving the 76ers with a slim one-point lead despite playing marginally better in the first half than they did at any point in Game 1.
After the halftime break, Philly came out guns blazing, taking it right to the Nets to build a big second-half lead that completely flipped the momentum of the game.
In just four minutes, their 65-64 halftime lead had turned into an 86-66 lead thanks to a 21-2 run. Joel Embiid was the empowering force that got things going for the 76ers during that stretch. The All-Star centre filled up the box score with 11 points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal in the run.
Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons and JJ Redick added the other 10 points while the 76ers stout defence held the Nets to 1-of-8 shooting from the field while forcing three turnovers.
This was the start of a historic quarter - the 76ers finished with 51 points in the frame, tying the all-time NBA Playoff record for points in a quarter.
For reference on just how ridiculous this quarter was: Philly had scored 49 in the entire second half of Game 1.
Their one-point halftime lead grew into a 29-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter - a lead that they would not surrender.
Needing more from the Nets' starters
In Game 1, you could make a case that the Nets' bench won them the game.
Their second unit scored 59 points, helping D'Angelo Russell and co. to victory. In Game 2, they topped that performance - the bench poured in 80 points led by Spencer Dinwiddie's 15 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's 15 points and 13 points from both Caris LeVert and Shabazz Napier.
This issue? Brooklyn's starters only scored 43 points.
In fact, their starting unit was outscored by the 76ers' starting unit 84-43!
Having a reliable bench is great, especially when the 76ers' depth is widely considered to be their biggest weakness. But with that being said, their starting five could go toe-to-toe with any starting unit in the NBA.
If the Nets cannot get their starters going than Philly will run them out of the gym like they did in this one.
A handful of their second unit's points came in the fourth quarter where the game was already out of hand, which subsequently led to the starters only playing three quarters, but Brooklyn might need to switch up the starting lineup to get more out of D'Angelo Russell and their first team.
Simmons' aggressive start
After a poor Game 1, Ben Simmons responded in style. with his second career playoff triple-double.
The Sixers look their best when Simmons is in attack mode and the Aussie found his way to the basket at will early in this one, forcing the Nets' defence to collapse on him at the basket, but there wasn't much they could do to stop him.
After scoring nine points in Game 1, Simmons finished the first half of Game 2 with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists, setting the tone for the Sixers' offence.
Ben Simmons has 16 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST! #PhilaUnite- NBA (@NBA) April 16, 2019
2nd half is underway on @NBAonTNT! pic.twitter.com/LtVNSaPeSg
Going downhill, Simmons is one of the toughest players to stop, given his size and length and if this is the Simmons we see for the rest of the series, the Sixers will be just fine.
The Philly home crowd rained down boos in Game 1 after a lacklustre performance and today, with Allen Iverson courtside, Simmons got the Philly crowd going, cupping his ear A.I. style to a chorus of cheers.
Ben Simmons gives the Allen Iverson 👂 ear gesture after the steal and basket @alleniverson is in the house too!!! @6abc #BenSimmons pic.twitter.com/xucoLuQDp7- Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) April 16, 2019
Boban and Embiid dominate inside
The Sixers went to work inside in Game 2, scoring 62 points in the paint, with Boban Marjanovic and Joel Embiid dominating.
In just 21 minutes of action, Embiid recorded an efficient 23 points and 10 rebounds on 8-of-12 shooting, becoming just the second player in playoff history to record those numbers in 21 minutes or less.
The Nets had their hands full matching up with Embiid and it was a whole different nightmare with Marjanovic, who exploited their smaller lineups early, scoring 14 of his 16 points in the first half.
It's one thing when he's beating you at the rim, but what are you going to do when he's hitting mid-range jumpers?
MAKE EM PAY, BOBI!- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 16, 2019
@BobanMarjanovic #PhilaUnite | #HereTheyCome pic.twitter.com/eVs8VyAQR5
Philly outrebounded Brooklyn 49-32 on the night, with Embiid (10), Simmons (8) and Marjanovic (8) doing the bulk of the damage on the glass.
The Nets need Jared Dudley
Dudley was the silent hero in Game 1 and today's performance from the Nets showed exactly why they need him on the floor in the post-season.
While his numbers don't leap off the page, Dudley's presence on the defensive end, poking away passes, playing the passing lanes and bothering the Sixers bigs was something that was sorely lacking in Game 2.
As Tom Haberstroh pointed out pre-game, his ability to guard multiple positions and guard them well is invaluable to the Nets' success.
Guarded by Dudley in Game 1- Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) April 15, 2019
Ben Simmons 2 pts on 22 possessions
Mike Scott 0 pts on 11 possessions
Boban Marjanovic 0 pts on 7 poss
Joel Embiid 0 pts on 3 poss
Total: 2 pts on 43 possessions
Tough loss for Brooklyn https://t.co/RvsONKpyXA
The good news for the Nets, Dudley is likely to return for Game 3 after dealing with tightness in his right calf.