Jared Dudley
(Mary Altaffer/AP)

The Brooklyn Nets failed to capitalize on a perfect opportunity by losing Game 4 to the Philadelphia 76ers, 112-108, at home.

  • Philadelphia 76ers (3-1)
  • Brooklyn Nets (1-3)
  • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
  • NBA, Final, Box Score

Joel Embiid played, but he was hurt. Jared Dudley returned to action and got in a scrap that resulted in he and Jimmy Butler getting tossed. Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen‘s two-man game could not be stopped.

But still, the Brooklyn Nets couldn’t hang on to beat the Philadelphia 76ers.

A Joe Harris layup gave them the lead with just 25 seconds to go. Then a Mike Scott corner three put them down one and Jarrett Allen turned the ball over with four seconds to go.

Tobias Harris hit his free throws and the rest is history. Or it will be? Only 11 teams in NBA history have come back from being down 3-1 in a playoff series, the last being the Cleveland Cavaliers’ famous comeback to defeat the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. Odds are weighing heavily against the Nets, who have given up three straight to the 76ers, after a statement Game 1 victory.

Brooklyn started out at a strong pace. Shots were falling, the defense was working, and a nine-point lead formed at the end of the first.

Jarrett Allen got working early with 11 points in the quarter, including this dunk off an other-worldly dime from Caris LeVert.

He finished with 21 points, eight rebounds, and one emphatic jam over opposing big man Joel Embiid:

LeVert and Allen’s two-man game would plague the 76ers almost all game long. Which makes it such a questioning decision to have had D’Angelo Russell lead the play off to Jarrett Allen on the final possession.

Still, it’s a welcome sight for all to see LeVert back in character. He played on Saturday just as he had left the court in December-as Brooklyn’s best player.

LeVert finished with 25 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Elsewhere among the roster, D’Angelo Russell went for an inefficient and underwhelming 21 points and six assists.

He showed up in the fourth quarter with a three-pointer and some flashy dimes, but was a non-factor for most of the game. Not what you want to see from the team’s lone All-Star.

Spencer Dinwiddie played a hot-and-cold game for all four quarters. Some three-pointers look effortless, while some layups looked much too difficult to even attempt with Embiid lurking.

He finished with 18 points and four rebounds.

Brooklyn’s supporting cast had the worst of it, with the trio of DeMarre Carroll, Joe Harris and Treveon Graham finishing 0-12 from three-point land.

When your talent along the wing is your largest advantage, 12 missed three-pointers from three guys is less than ideal. The rest of the Nets shot a combined 12-26 from deep (46 percent!).

Saturday’s loss can almost be traced to the brawl that unfolded between Jared Dudley and various 76ers late in the third quarter.

After Embiid fouled Allen on a dunk attempt, Brooklyn’s prized veteran went for a shove. Which resulted in a near mob level reaction from the 76ers team.

Dudley and Butler were ejected, the former being the Nets’ Ben Simmons stopper, and the latter the 76ers energizer. But while it was a small victory to see Butler ejected–it only pumped up Simmons–who went for 9 points following.

Whether they win Game 5 or not, it seems the Nets are just outmatched in this series with the 76ers. They’ve lost two games now where Philadelphia was missing a starter.

If that doesn’t open up the window, it’s probably locked for good reason. Still, it would be nice to get one more win. Let’s see what head coach Kenny Atkinson and the staff draw up for Tuesday.

Writer, reader, entertainer. New York Knicks and the Carolina Panthers. Hoodie Melo is my spirit animal.