Say hello to seventh place.
The Knicks outworked, outhustled, and outshot the Sixers, as the Philadelphia lost to the Knicks 97-92. The Sixers are now 40-39, while the Knicks improve to 40-38. The 76ers went into the game with just a half-game lead over the Knicks for the six seed in the Eastern Conference after losing to the Bucks on Saturday, and the Celtics yesterday. Now the Sixers sit in seventh place and are a half game behind the Knicks.
The Sixers had a 13-12 lead midway through the first quarter, but that would be their last for a long time, as the Knicks would go on a 14-6 run to end the quarter. They didn’t not look back for a long time. The Sixers were 2-for-15 from three-point land, including Jodie Meeks’ who 0-8 performance. Besides shooting 11% from behind the three-point line, the Sixers played a solid game offensively, but defensively, they couldn’t get enough stops to get within striking distance.
While most of the team looked bad tonight, Thaddeus Young and Elton brand were spectacular, scoring 25 and 24 points respectively. Thanks to Young and Brand’s efforts, the Sixers ripped off a 10-2 run and with 2:41 left in the game, Jodie Meeks made a layup on a fast break to give the Sixers an 88-87 lead for the first time midway through the first quarter.
Knicks Guard Toney Douglas would respond by making a clutch three with 1:47 left, making it a 90-88 Knicks lead. After Brand fouled Douglas on the Knicks next possession and made both free throws, Douglas came up clutch for the Knicks.
Andre Igoudala made a three pointer on the ensuing possession to cut the lead down to one point with 31 seconds remaining, but Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks leading scorer tonight with 31points, made a pull-up jumper from beyond the arc with 11.8 seconds to make it 95-91 and essentially iced the game.
The Sixers’ next game is this Friday against the Toronto Raptors.