– by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief
PHILADELPHIA — Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, toward the end of the best game in his NBA career, sized up Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid from 26 feet away as the shot clock was running down, turned on the accelerator, sped toward the basket and finished with a layup over one of the best defenders in the league. It was that type of night for one of the Nets’ emerging cornerstones.
Dinwiddie scored a career-high 39 points, including 27 in the second half, as the Nets handed Philadelphia just its second loss of the season at home with a 127-124 victory over the Sixers at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday. Brooklyn’s win extends its winning streak to three games.
On a day when some reports stated that Dinwiddie and the Nets were working on an extension, the guard performed like a player getting ready for a big payday. Tonight’s performance marked the first time a Nets player scored at least 35 points while coming off the bench since Derrick Coleman did so back in January of 1992.
“I think the bigger thing is you know we won the game, so that’s what makes this more special than anything,” said Dinwiddie, who is shooting 60 percent (21-of-35) in his last two games. “Anybody can score and lose, you know what I’m saying, so scoring and winning is a testament of better playing and a great team, all that stuff, so thank you to my guys. They helped with setting screens and all that other stuff.”
Dinwiddie scored 15 of his points in the third quarter, helping the Nets extend a one-point halftime lead into a 10-point bulge by the end of the quarter. The fifth-year guard from Colorado hit five of his six shots from the field, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
After the game, Dinwiddie facetiously hinted that he was going through a little transformation as he found his shooting stroke during the quarter.
“If I had two threes in a row I feel like Steph [Curry],” Dinwiddie said. “I had a couple threes, boy I tell you I feel like I was 6-foot-3 and light skin. I wasn’t about to stop shooting after that.”
Philadelphia, playing without Jimmy Butler who was out with a groin injury, was led by Embiid’s 33 points and 17 rebounds.
“I think that some of [the loss] was bad defense, some of it was let down schematically, some of our good shooters still getting off shots,” said Sixers head coach Brett Brown. “I think it’s a hybrid of them making some shots, us being a C-minus at times with our aggression and maybe a “C” schematically trying to execute a game with their individual players. I would put some blame proportionally all over the place.”