In The Post: Knicks 108, Sixers 97
The Sixers got off to a HOT start. Dropping 35 in the opening frame and were up by as much as 21 over the Knicks. Philadelphia shot 63 percent from the field and 57 percent from deep making five triples. Start hot, stay hot. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case as New York made a push before the end of the first quarter to cut the lead to 11 at 35-24. To start the second, the Knicks continued their run by trimming the deficit to six, 35-30, thanks to a 17-0 run.
PJ Tucker had one of his better scoring games in a Sixers uniform
The veteran forward finished with 10 points, making two from deep in his spot from the corner. This was the first game that Tucker has hit 10-plus points since October 31st versus the Washington Wizards. Tucker averages three points per game on the season before the Knicks game on Sunday night.
Backup Centers Struggle
Montrezl Harrell got the early call in the first half as Joel Embiid got a rest after helping build the big lead. As noted earlier, the Knicks made their run with Embiid on the bench and Harrell along with the rest of the reserves helped give up the lead. So, in the second half when Embiid needed a breather, head coach Doc Rivers went a different route and called on Paul Reed to spell the big fella. This is another indication that the front office may need to look for a little more help at the center position with a more defensive-minded approach.
Joel Embiid led all scorers in the game with 31 points and tied for a game-high 14 rebounds with Knicks reserve center Isaiah Hartenstein. Tobias Harris and De’Anthony Melton each finished with 14; James Harden and Tyrese Maxey added 12 apiece. Harden handed out a game-best 12 assists. Julius Randle’s 24 points and Jalen Brunson’s 21 paced the hosts scoring. Evan Fournier came off the bench to score 17… second-year guard Miles McBride contributed 14. They combined for eight made three-pointers in reserve duty. The two guards made one more than the entire Sixers team (7) all night.
A tough loss for the 76ers on Sunday in New York. They’ve played so well to get back in the mix for a top seed in the East and don’t want to see these types of losses. However, there’s still plenty of basketball to play. Next up, a huge game on Wednesday night in Boston against the conference-leading Celtics.