Thank God! Seriously, I don’t know if I could have taken all the negativity if the Sixers didn’t show up for last nights game. The Philadelphia 76ers (37-23) returned home from a brutal loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers (17-41) in which they also lost all-star center Joel Embiid for an undetermined amount of time. The New York Knicks (17-42) were just what was needed to stay above water until Ben & Jo return but hey so were the Cavs, Right?
Tobias Harris came out smoking hot in the 1st quarter looking like a man on a mission. He was very aggressive early on dribbling down hill with a purpose scoring 14 point in 9 minutes of work. The Sixers also used some zone defense on the Knicks which seemed to work for the time being but then again what defense doesn’t work against the Knicks.
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The Sixers pushed the lead to 15 in the 2nd with a strong boost from Mike Scott and Kyle O’Quinn, who will now have more minutes with the absence of Joel Embiid. Mike Scott (+17 for the game) scored 5 points early in the quarter while Kyle added 8 Rebounds in 6 minutes (Finished with 10 REB) making hustle plays throughout the game. The Knicks weren’t doing much of anything and struggling to hit shots. Shake Milton, making his third start in a row, drained two three-pointers and Tobias rolled into the half with 23 points.
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The Knicks opened up the 3rd quarter on fire from the floor with no real shot contention from the Sixers. Maurice Harkless, drafted and traded by the Sixers, lit it up with 5 three pointers in the quarter. Julius Randle added another three but the Knicks could only get as close as eight. The Knicks didn’t play much defense either allowing Josh Richardson to suddenly come alive. He helped the Sixers keep that Knicks at bay scoring 10 in the quarter.
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Al Horford who neared a triple double tonight helped pushed the lead to 15 with back to back threes early in the quarter. Al was 4 of 4 from three but only 1 of 6 inside missing some easy layups. He did look a lot more comfortable though with 7 rebounds and 9 assists finding the open man like the Al of old. The Knicks weren’t going away, cutting the lead to five with 2 minutes left on a Julius Randel free throw giving him 30 on the night. I was beginning to wonder if Tobias was going to show up in the 4th myself and that he did not allowing the Knicks to get any closer. Tobias Harris (34PTs, 7REB, &AST) closed the quarter with 5 points and assisting on a huge 3 finding Shake Milton (5-5 from 3 for 19PTS) in the corner to close this one out.
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