Neither 27 points from Tim Hardaway Jr. nor another strong showing from rookie Kevin Knox could add up to the 76ers’ 131 points at home in Philadelphia.
Coming off a disappointing home loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, the Knicks fell to the Philadelphia 76ers by a final score of 131-109. Let’s take a peek at some highlights from tonight’s contest.
After sitting out Monday’s contest with plantar fasciitis, Tim Hardaway Jr. was back in full force on Wednesday. Hardaway JJr. led the Knicks in scoring with 27 points, shooting 7-of-16 from the field, tacking on five assists and three rebounds. After struggling with his shot for the majority of November, THJ has returned to early-season form over the past few games.
In tonight’s contest, he was a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe and was a threat both in the lane and beyond the three-point arc. In a game where Hardaway was questionable to play, he sure looked like himself.
Timmy looks good tonight as well pic.twitter.com/nRCQ9ER29O— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) December 20, 2018
The Process Prevails
Going into the game, the Knicks knew this matchup would be a problem. With Mitchell Robinson out, the Knicks were forced to use the trio of Enes Kanter, Noah Vonleh, and Luke Kornet to try and stop Joel Embiid.
With Kanter being a liability on defense, Vonleh incredibly undersized, and Kornet a G League caliber player, the results…weren’t pretty. Embiid posted a double-double with 24 points (10-of-17 from the field) and 10 rebounds. Like in the past, Embiid continues to be a matchup nightmare for the Knicks, and most other teams in the NBA. Even when not scoring, Embiid made a difference on the court by drawing double coverage and kicking it out to the open man. This guy can do it all.
The (Almost) Dunk of the Year + 21-Point Outing = Big Game for Rook
It was yet another solid performance for rookie Kevin Knox, who finished the game with 21 points (8-of-17 field goals) and six rebounds. It marked the sixth game in a row which Knox posted 15 or more points, as the rookie has found his groove in December. For the second consecutive game, Knox had 10 or more points in the first half.
Right before halftime, Knox drove the lane and just missed what would have been a natural candidate for dunk of the year.
Oh what could have been…………….. pic.twitter.com/CjjXJicgsC— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) December 20, 2018
He later made up for this with a nice finishing dunk on an alley-oop feed from Hardaway. After a slow start to the season, Knox is beginning to show why he was a top-10 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Keep it up, Kev.
AIR KNOX pic.twitter.com/P0yVfOwPJw— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) December 20, 2018
Defense…. Where are you?
About defense—there was none. In a high-scoring affair, the Knicks allowed an astounding 131 points. The 76ers had open looks the entire night, resulting in shooting 53.4 percent (47-88) from the field and 50 percent (15-30) from beyond the three-point arc. No matter how well the Knicks’ offense performed, with a defensive performance like this, they stand no chance.
With this loss, the Knicks are back in action on Friday, when they host the 7-23 Atlanta Hawks.
What’s at stake? This guy.