Nets hold on to beat Sixers despite fourth-quarter surge

Shaun Livingston
Shaun Livingston filled up the stat sheet with 13 points, eight assists, seven steals and six rebounds.
Credit: Getty Images

Shaun Livingston’s goal every defensive possession is to be active with his hands and create difficulties for his opponent.

It’s fair to say to that he achieved that goal Monday night.

Livingston had a career-high seven steals while also filling up the stat sheet with 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds, helping the Nets force a season-high 26 turnovers in a 108-102 victory over the 76ers.

“I was just trying to be active in the passing lanes,” Livingston said. “I’ve been on the wing guarding some of the better scorers. I was trying to be active, be disruptive, help my teammates and be in the right spots on defense.”

Paul Pierce led the Nets with 25 points (14 free throws), Deron Williams added 21 points and six assists and Mirza Teletovic hit five 3-pointers during a 20-point night. As productive as those nights were, both players were more than glad to gush about Livingston’s night.

“Oh man, he’s a guy who’s gaining confidence week by week [with an] increased role,” Pierce said. “He believes in his ability; he’s so versatile out there. He can play the point guard or two guard, he can guard one through three through four. Whatever we ask of him he’s given to us. He’s sort of like a glue guy out there. Whatever we ask of him, he’s given the team.”

“Shaun is amazing,” Teletovic said. “He helps out in every position from the point guard, two, three, the four guard, assists, score and just everything. He’s a huge part of this team and he has a lot of advantages because of his size.”

The Nets snapped a three-game losing streak that featured a blowout loss to Oklahoma City sandwiched by one-point defeats against Toronto and Indiana. They did so by getting their handsinto the passing lanes, leading to 15 steals.

“Just look at Shaun with seven steals,” head coach Jason Kidd said. “So he was all over, his fingerprints were all over this game, offensively, defensively and finding his teammates.

“We had active hands, deflections [and] steals. That means everybody is in tune defensively. In this league you can play great defense and still be scored on, but if you can get some deflections and kind of disrupt their rhythm that can help you get a win.”

Livingston had the most steals by a Net since Kendall Gill also had seven on Nov. 15, 1999 against the Supersonics. He joined Michael Carter-Williams as the second player this season to have at least 10 points, six rebounds, eight assists and seven steals in a game.

The Nets became the first team this season to have at least 13 steals in three straight games. It also gave them three straight games with 13 or more steals for the first time since April 6-10, 1990 when the Nets had 44 in a three-game stretch against Golden State, Miami and Boston in the final weeks of a 65-loss season.

This time the Nets are 21-25 with 11 wins in their last 15 games and 43 steals in their last three games. Of course none of their active play in the passing lane would have meant a thing had they succumbed for the fourth straight time by not executing down the stretch.

The Nets fell behind by seven late in the first half before an impressive run gave them a five-point lead at halftime. They pushed that lead to 19 points early in the third and 16 points (87-71) a minute into the fourth before things became rather dicey and put the outcome in doubt.

Philadelphia was within 97-95 on a 21-foot jump shot by Lavoy Allen with 3:41 left but the Nets seemed to figure it out by ripping off the next seven points on an 18-footer by Williams, a three-point play by Teletovic off a pretty bounce pass in the paint and two free throws by Pierce.

Still, James Anderson was wide open in the right corner near Brooklyn’s bench and buried a 3-pointer to make it 104-102 with 22.7 seconds left. But Livingston created a fitting ending with 5.8 seconds to play by intercepting a pass by Carter-Williams and sinking the foul shots to seal a game his active hands changed in favor of the Nets.

“It’s great,” Livingston said. “I’m just trying to play the right way. As long as we get the win, that’s what I’m about. I play to win. If I have great numbers, that’s great. Obviously you feel good about it but still I’m playing to win.”

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

News

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.

NFL

Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

Career

Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…

Sex

We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.