On the second night of a back-to-back, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the New York Knicks by a score of 126-111. The Sixers led the game by 26 at one point, but managed to allow it to dwindle to nine points by the start of the fourth quarter. New York managed to pull within six, but the Sixers were too much for them to handle, handing the Knicks their 18th straight loss.
The Knicks played the Sixers close in the first quarter, but the Sixers put their foot on the gas in the second, ballooning to that 26 point lead before ultimately settling for a 16-point advantage at halftime. The Knicks kept chipping away at the lead, putting myself and other Sixers fans in a state of perpetual agony and unrest. Can’t we just have one easy one? Luckily, for our record, the standings (the Celtics, Bucks and Raptors also all won tonight), and our own personal well being, the Sixers pulled out the win.
Tobias Harris was the prince that was promised in tonight’s game, finishing +27 and with 25 points. After going 0-for-6 against the Celtics, Harris found his 3-point shot again, shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc. Jimmy Butler had a quiet, but efficient and productive game. His final stat line was 13-7-8, with zero turnovers, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
On a night when he found himself flying over Oscar nominees, Joel Embiid also found himself with a game-high 26 points. He took 14 of the team’s 43 trips to the line, and converted on 12 of them. Embiid finished with 14 rebounds, giving him a league-high 49 double-doubles on the season.
Although they produced a losing effort, the Knicks bench was really the star of the show. Four players off their bench scored in double figures (Damyean Dotson, Kadeem Allen, Allonzo Trier, and Mitchell Robinson), and they outscored the Sixers’ bench, 74-29. All of the Knicks’ bench players finished with a positive +/-, while all of their starters finished negative. Boban Marjanovic was the only Sixers player to score in double figures, finishing with 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will make their way to Charlotte this weekend to participate in the NBA All-Star Game. Ben will see action in both the Rising Stars game where he will represent Team World, and in the main event, where he will play on Team LeBron. There, he will face off with Embiid, who will be the starting center for Team Giannis. Hopefully, the new acquisitions will use this break to get acclimated to the Sixers organization. When the team gets back together against the Miami Heat on February 21, I want to see some fireworks.
T.J. McConnell did T.J. things, notching three steals in the game. One came on a Knicks in-bounds play where he just decided to play full court.
JJ Redick finished the night with 15 points. More impressively, he has scored in double figures in every game which he has played this season, and has hit a 3-pointer in every game since November 21. Not bad for a 34-year-old.
Ben Simmons finished with 18 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the floor. There were no 3-pointers attempted tonight.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Brett Brown and Ben Simmons shared a precious hug on the sideline.