The Knicks put together a hard-fought contest and won Game 1 111-104 thanks to a monster effort from their role players.

The New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers went head-to-head in their first playoff game and the Knicks scored their first win of the series in an absolute dogfight. 

The Knicks’ playoff run kicked off with an open triple from Josh Hart in the first quarter. After Brunson’s fancy footwork led to a made jumper, Joel Embiid pounded in the first nine points for the 76ers. With the 76ers’ ball movement flowing, they pulled out to an early ten-point lead. It seemed like the Knicks were struggling defensively while the 76ers were able to navigate their offense with confidence.

As the Knicks were trying to get their offensive rhythm going, Tyrese Maxey had a terrific start. He put up seven points in the first with the help of his fast feet. After the first timeout, the Knicks finally started to roll and the 76ers’ engines started to slow down, but just for a bit. Hartenstein came to the rescue, chipping in a put-back slam and a smart pass into the pocket for JB. However, Embiid continued to make New York’s life difficult. He was banking on his money shots and downing them with ease after muscling his way in. He piled up 15 points in the first. Having said that, Philly found their way back in and climbed back up with a 7-0 run for over two and a half minutes before JB cut into their run with two free throws. Although inefficient, JB led the Knicks’ first quarter with seven points.

After a tough first quarter for the Knicks, the 76ers wrapped it up with a nine-point lead (34-25). 

The second quarter opened up with the bench unit exploding with power, knocking down three back-to-back ferocious triples (two from Bojan Bogdanović and one from Deuce McBride). But the second unit did not just stop there. Deuce took the initiative and got aggressive in the paint, adding two more points under his name from behind the free-throw line. This duo’s impact was so high that the Knicks were able to tie the game at 36 after trailing by double-digit points. 

After what seemed like forever, 76ers’ Paul Reed finally grabbed the first bucket for them. With Josh Hart going coast-to-coast with the rock, Mitch slammed the put-back bucket. JB then returned back on the court and was able to draw a charge against Tobias Harris. We’re talking about the same player who is currently listed as second in the NBA for drawing the most charges. The Block Ness Monster then proceeded to make the Garden explode after clamping down Embiid with all his mightiness, forcing him to turn the ball over after double-dribbling. 

With five and a half minutes remaining, the Knicks picked up their first lead against the 76ers. Deuce brought the Knicks crowd on their feet after he hit his third triple from downtown, tallying 13 points in the second. With the 76ers unable to bring out the fire extinguisher, the Knicks maintained their flaming electricity and went on a 16-5 run. New York was also leading in fastbreak opportunities against the 76ers (13-3). Unfortunately for the 76ers’ fans, Embiid was brought back to the locker room after taking a hard fall on his left leg through his attempt of a self alley-oop. And just like that, Deuce brought the Knicks up by double-figures. He just could not resist himself from making it rain once more from behind the arc. 

Cruising their way to halftime, the Knicks were up a dozen by the end of the second quarter (58-46).

With Embiid’s return, the third quarter was unlocked by a fastbreak bucket from JB and Embiid answered back off the backboard. Space-creating and shot-faking, JB was slowly picking up the pace after a slow start, scoring nine points in the third. Unfortunately for the Knicks, the speedy Kyle Lowry tormented the Knicks with 12 points in the third. It seemed like another slow start for the Knicks, and so, Knicks’ Coach Thibodeau had to call for a timeout. 

After an 8-0 run executed by the 76ers, OG put a halt to this with a two-handed mean jam. And to make matters worse for Knicks fans who were unable to relax with such a close game, Maxey showed off his clever footwork and his unhesitating shooting tendency. Unstoppable, this added him 12 more points. All even at 69 from Embiid’s triple, DiVincenzo took back the Knicks’ lead with a three of his own. 

But the 76ers would not back down without a fight. They were on a 21-5 run for six minutes straight, clutching back the lead. This brought the Knicks’ bench unit back into the game, with Bogdanović hitting double-figures. Undersized, Josh Hart drove into the key with hustle pumping into his veins, able to drop in his shot against his mismatch, Joel Embiid. 

The third quarter was brought to a stop with the 76ers leading over the Knicks (82-79). 

The final quarter unfastened with a beautiful defensive stretch from Mitch and a triple from the Croatian. Mitch’s influence was so strong and spectacular that he brought the Knicks back up by two after tipping the ball in. Tied again, Harris grabbed the first field goal for the 76ers in the fourth. This was then followed by more sensational movement from the one and only, Deuce McBride. It seemed like Hart also put in sharp movements of his own.  

Kelly Oubre Jr. was also seen on an emphatic defensive play against JB, feeding the ball into Maxey’s hand, who cut the lead to just one point. However, Hart bailed the Knicks out of the 76ers’ rhythm with a much-needed three. Mitch also remained dauntless from the defensive end. With the help of Hart’s magnetic rebounding prowess and offensive rhythm, the Knicks showed courage and determination to finish the game with their first win of the series. 

It’s safe to say that Josh Hart was undoubtedly taking over in the fourth quarter, he had 13 points and four rebounds. And just like that, the New York Knicks finish the game with their first win of the series (111-104).

Overall, five Knicks players completed their first 2023-24 playoff win in double-figures. JB and Hart scored 22 points each, Hart adding four triples and 13 rebounds, Deuce was beyond energetic with 21 points and five triples, Bogdanović impacted the game with 13 points, and OG Anunoby added 11 points for the Knicks. 

The 76ers were just short of their first playoff victory tonight, but four 76ers shined in double-digits regardless. The speedy Maxey led his team with 33 points, Embiid’s aggressiveness with 29 points, Lowry who tallied 18 points, and Kelly Oubre Jr. scoring 10 points for his team.

The Knicks will take on Embiid and his 76ers again Monday night at 7:30 pm in the Garden looking to take a commanding 2-0 lead.

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