This one was over before both team’s starters could even break a sweat. The Philadelphia 76ers embarrassed the Knicks last night, routing them by a score of 97-80. Sixers first time All-Star Jrue Holiday led Philly with a career high 35 points while dishing out six assists and grabbing five rebounds. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 25 points but shot just 9-for-28 from the field.
Jrue Holiday got the game’s scoring started on a driving layup and the Knicks tied it up on a Carmelo Anthony fadeaway jumper. Little did the Knicks know that Anthony score was as close as they would come to being competitive in this game. The Sixers followed that Anthony score with an 10-0 run to open up a 10-point first quarter lead they would never relinquish. The start of the game was eerily similar to the team’s second matchup of the season, which took place on November 5th. In that game, the Sixers opened up a double-digit first quarter lead before the Knicks stormed back to blowout Philly by a score of 110-88. However, there would be no Knicks comeback this time. The Sixers first four baskets came on layups right at the basket, a bad sign for the Knicks of how easily scoring the ball would be for Philly. The Knicks responded to Philly’s 10-0 run with a 7-0 spurt of their own but the Sixers weren’t in the mood to let the Knicks back in it as they did in November. They would outscore the Knicks 12-10 the rest of the quarter to end the period up 24-19. The Knicks shot just 32% in the quarter while Philly made half of their 22 shot attempts.
The Knicks continued their bad shooting in the second quarter (39%) while the Sixers were playing a game of NBA Jam, shooting a blistering 63% in the period. The lone bright spot for the Knicks in the quarter was the play of Amar’e Stoudemire, who made all four of his shooting attempts for eight points en route to a 12-point first half on a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. The rest of the Knicks couldn’t hit a shot even if their lives depended on it. On two occasions they cut the Sixers lead to four (once on a Steve Novak three-pointer with 10:41 left in the quarter and then on a Stoudemire layup with 7:44 remaining). However, with the score 36-32, the Sixers ended the half with a 17-9 run to push their lead to 12.
The Knicks bad first half shooting took a turn for the worse in the third quarter. A utterly disgusting 23% shooting performance in the third quarter put this game away for good. Meanwhile, the Sixers kept up their blistering pace, shooting 59% in the quarter, led the by the duo of Nick Young and Holiday, who combined for 26 points on 9-for-13 shooting. They starting backcourt for Philly outscored the Knicks on their own (26-17). The Knicks bad shooting even rubbed off on Stoudemire, who after his perfect first-half shooting, went just 1-for-4 in the third quarter. At one point, the Sixers held a 29-point lead over the Knicks. It was going so good for Philly that Doug Collins basically took the rest of the night off. Recovering from a dentist procedure he had before the game and a case of a bad cold, Collins left the game in the third quarter while assistant Michael Curry coached the team the rest of the way. Overall, Philly outscored the Knicks 31-17 in the quarter to push their lead to 26.
Unless Coach Mike Woodson wasn’t paying attention during the first three quarters, he had a feeling his team could get back into the game. Nothing else can explain why he had his regulars on the floor at times during the period. With the game clearly over, Woodson still gave playing time in the period to Anthony, Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, and Stoudemire. Raymond Felton, making his return to the Knicks lineup after missing 12 games with a fractured right pinky finger, played nearly five minutes in the period as well. At least you can make the argument that Woodson wanted to get the rust out of him as he gets used to being back on the court. Other than him, there was no reason to to play any of the other regulars. Chris Copeland played all 12 minutes in the fourth and finally around the six and a half minute mark, Woodson began to empty out the bench. Even with a 47% shooting display and while holding the Sixers to 29% shooting, the Knicks couldn’t even make the score respectable. They outscored the Sixers 22-13 in the quarter but were still blown out, 97-80.
- After hurting his back in the victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night, it was unknown if Jason Kidd would play. He did start but the blowout loss allowed Woodson to rest him up, as he played just 15 minutes.
- The trio of Kidd, Iman Shumpert and Smith combined to shoot 0-for-17 from the floor. Shumpert’s one free throw make in the game accounted for the lone point the Knicks got from the three.
- Playing his first game since Christmas Day against the Los Angeles Lakers, Felton had just eight points on 2-for-8 shooting and three assists. He did have just two turnovers.
- Stoudemire finished with 20 points, his first 20 point game since his return.
- Anthony’s 25 points marked the 28th straight game he has scored at least 20 points. The streak is tied with Patrick Ewing for the second longest in team history, one game shy of the team record of 29 held by Richie Guerin.