Simons, Harris help 76ers beat Nets 131-115, lead playoff series 2-1
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (C) of Australia reacts after dunking the ball during game three of the first round NBA playoffs between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA, Apr. 18, 2019. EPA-EFE/JASON SZENES SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (R) prepares to dunk past a defending Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (L) during game three of the first round NBA playoffs between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA, Apr. 18, 2019. EPA-EFE/JASON SZENES SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (L) looks to put up a shot past a defending Philadelphia 76ers center Greg Monroe (R) during game three of the first round NBA playoffs between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA, Apr. 18, 2019. EPA-EFE/JASON SZENES SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
New York, USA, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- Australian point guard Ben Simmons and forward Tobias Harris notched up a combined 60 points on Thursday as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Brooklyn Nets 131-115 in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first round playoff series.
The win allowed the 76ers, who were playing without their star Cameroonian center Joel Embiid, who was absent due to a sore knee, to regain home-court advantage which they had lost in Game 1. Philly now leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.
Simmons, unfazed by the hostile Brooklyn crowd at the Barclays Center, scored 31 points, a career playoff-high, converting 11-of-13 from the field and nine out of 11 free throws.
He also contributed with nine assists, four rebounds, two steals and three blocks.
"I think it was one of Ben's most dominant games. (...) I thought Ben was exceptional," Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said in the postgame press conference.
Harris shined in the absence of Embiid, putting up a double-double of 29 points and 15 rebounds apart from making three assists.
The forward, who arrived at Philadelphia mid-season from the Los Angeles Clippers, shot 11-of-19 from the field, including six out of six three-pointers.
Shooting guard JJ Redick impressed by scoring five out of nine three-pointers, and ended the game as the third-highest scorer for the 76ers with 26 points.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson also praised the dominant Philadelphia players.
"I think their big players came to play. Ben had a great game, I thought JJ was great, Tobias also hit some big 3s," Atkinson said after the game.
Shooting guard Jimmy Butler ended with 16 points and seven assists and veteran Serbian center Boban Marjanovic had 14 points and eight rebounds.
Point guard D'Angelo Russell and reserve Caris LeVert top-scored for the Nets with 26 points each, although Brooklyn lagged behind Philadelphia in many aspects of the game, managing just 43 rebounds compared to Philadelphia's 54.
Game 4 of the series is set to be played at the same venue on Saturday.