At a time during the NBA Summer League when players start to wear down, the Brooklyn Nets got some much-needed help from their bench.
Reserves Cliff Alexander and Austin Hollins scored 13 points apiece and starting guard Markel Brown had 23 points as the Nets defeated Philadelphia 75-68 Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center as the Summer League tipped off its tournament format.
Brooklyn, which advanced to the second round, will face San Antonio at 3 p.m. PT Thursday in Cox Pavilion. The Spurs received a first-round bye.
Philadelphia plays in Friday's consolation against Houston at 1 p.m. PT Friday in Cox Pavilion.
Philadelphia played Wednesday without its rookie draft pick Jahlil Okafor, who was in Los Angeles attending the ESPY Awards. He was missed as the Nets started out leading 14-2.
The 76ers have had a hard time scoring all week in Las Vegas and they didn't get a player into double figures until midway through the fourth quarter when Scottie Wilbekin scored his 11th point of the game. Philadelphia was just 2-for-15 on 3-point attempts.
Conversely, the Nets were 64.3 percent from long distance Wednesday, hitting nine of 14 attempts. That ultimately proved to be the difference between playing Thursday or Friday for Brooklyn.
The Nets were comfortably ahead 43-28 at the half and stayed in control despite being outscored 27-15 in the third quarter. And with Ryan Boatright and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson not performing at the high level they had been earlier in the Summer League, Alexander and Hollins more than made up for it as both picked up the slack and made sure the Sixers wouldn't catch them.
The closest the 76ers got was 55-53 late in the third quarter. Wilbekin led Philadelphia with 11 points and J.P. Tokoto, Charles Jackson and Pierre Jackson all scored nine points apiece.
For Brooklyn, it was a very good start to the playoffs. Brown had 13 points through three quarters and added 10 in the fourth to get to his final total of 23.
In addition to the solid shooting, the Nets out rebounded the Sixers 41-38 and with no Okafor on the floor, Nets center Willie Reed took advantage, finishing with 11 points and nine rebounds.