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The Brooklyn Nets took pride in silencing the crowd in their 129-100 blowout road victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.
The Nets were motivated to show support of Ben Simmons, who didn’t play but was in front of Philadelphia fans for the first time since the trade that sent him to Brooklyn. Simmons was the subject of loud boos throughout the game.
“If you come at Ben, you come at us,” Nets point guard Kyrie Irving told reporters after the game.
Brooklyn blitzed Philadelphia from the opening tip and never let up. The Nets never trailed in Thursday’s game and led by as many as 36 as they improved to 34-33.
Kevin Durant led the way with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Seth Curry, who was also playing in front of Philadelphia fans for the first time since being included in the Simmons deal, had 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting. Irving added 22 points.
“It just felt good to quiet all of them down midway through the game,” Durant said during his postgame interview. “It was very quiet towards the end. We ain’t hear no more Ben Simmons chants from the Sixers fans.”
Philadelphia fans didn’t hold back in their heckling of Simmons. One fan was removed from the arena for yelling at Simmons while he was on the bench, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
More concerning for Philadelphia was the play of its two biggest stars Joel Embiid and James Harden, who combined to shoot 8-of-34 from the field. Embiid still managed to finish with 27 points and 12 rebounds, but Harden had a dismal performance with just 11 points.
The Nets and Sixers will both be off until Sunday. Brooklyn will take on the New York Knicks while Philadelphia will look to bounce back against the Orlando Magic.
original source: Kyrie Irving on 76ers Fans Booing Ben Simmons: ‘If You Come at Ben, You Come at Us’