The Nets have struggled for years to cover players like Sixers power forward Thaddeus Young.

It was a problem that cropped up again last night, as Young finished with 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting to go with 10 rebounds as the Nets lost, 106-97.

Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo tried to use both Reggie Evans and Mirza Teletovic against Young, but both had their problems. While Evans delivered his usual energy on the defensive end and on the boards, finishing with nine points and 11 rebounds, Young repeatedly left him defensively to double either Deron Williams or Brook Lopez, knowing Evans wouldn’t hurt him if he got the ball.

“Reggie means a lot to us, and we need him out there,” Williams said. “Sometimes you have to sacrifice a little offense for defense.”

Teletovic, on the other hand, went 2-for-7 from the field to finish with four points in 17 minutes, though he did grab six rebounds.

“We were struggling to find somebody to give us something,” Carlesimo said. “I actually thought Reggie gave us the best combination of things.”

Carlesimo said that he didn’t try to play Andray Blatche and Lopez together inside because he thought Blatche wasn’t a good matchup for the smaller and more athletic Young.

When asked about going with a smaller lineup and using Gerald Wallace — who didn’t play in the fourth quarter — at the four, Carlesimo said: “I just put the guys out there that we thought would give us a chance to win.”

* The Nets got big games from their big scorers last night, but not much else.