The Knicks faced a shorthanded Sixers team in Philly on Thursday but could not come through with a streak-snapping win, losing by nine.

The New York Knicks (17-42) ended their three-game road trip with their sixth consecutive loss, this time at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers (37-23), sans their two All-Star starters. With that 115-106 loss, the Knickerbockers have guaranteed their seventh straight losing season. 

The Sixers were hot from deep all night long, and it started early and often for Long Island’s Tobias Harris. The maxed-out forward had 14 of his game-high 34 points in the first quarter alone. Harris and Shake Milton picked up the slack offensively for the injury-riddled Sixers combined to score 34 points in the first half as the Sixers led the Knicks by 15 at the break.

The Knicks fought back valiantly in the third quarter led by recent addition Maurice Harkless’ flame thrower of a performance hitting five triples from beyond the arc. New York cut the deficit to eight after three periods. New York, unfortunately, was never able to get over the hump in the fourth quarter with the lead fluctuating from around 8-15 points for most of the quarter.

 The Knicks went on a 13-2 run late and were able to cut it down to five with two minutes to go, but three-pointers from both Milton and Harris were able to put the game away for Philadelphia. There was a good effort from the team on both sides of the ball, they just were not able to overcome the hot shooting of Tobias Harris and the Sixers.

Key Takeaways

  • Four out of five Knicks starters had a positive plus-minus on Thursday, with Bobby Portis being the sole (spot) starter in the negatives with a -18.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. left the game with concussion-like symptoms after only seven minutes and did not return.
  • Damyean Dotson received another DNP-CD while two veteran guards, Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock, played 27 minutes combined.
  • Elfrid Payton was the lone point guard available tonight by the second quarter with Frank Ntilikina inactive and Smith leaving with an injury. He had himself an impressive night not only finishing with 18 points and 12 assists, but perhaps more importantly he did not turn the ball over.
  • Julius Randle finished with 30, making it his sixth 30-point performance of the season.
  • Allonzo Trier played few minutes on Thursday, 10 in total, after playing the entire fourth quarter last night in Charlotte.
  • Shake Milton shot 5-of-5 from deep and Al Horford was 4-for-4 himself. Those two players had more threes combined than the entire Knicks roster. The Sixers made 15 threes compared to the Knicks’ eight.
  • The Knicks went on a nice run to start the third with Mitchell Robinson joining the starters for the second half. We will see if that has any impact on roster management going forward. He also had a few highlight blocks and dunks to add.
  • R.J. Barrett had himself a nice game offensively including a couple of really tough finishes in the lane, including putting fellow rookie Matisse Thybulle in the spin cycle.

The Knicks head back to the Garden on Sunday as they look to right the ship against the Chicago Bulls at 5 p.m. EST.


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