NBA playoffs: New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 2-0 lead

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By Jak


New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 2-0 lead

The Philadelphia 76ers looked like they had snagged a victory at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

However, the New York Knicks turned the tables.

Despite the 76ers rallying from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to grab a 101-96 lead in the game’s last minute, chaos ensued in the final seconds. The Knicks mounted a comeback, resulting in a thrilling 104-101 win and a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the playoffs.

Frantic final minute secures New York Knicks win

With 32 seconds left on the clock, New York had possession and trailed by five points. Donte DiVincenzo made a drive through the 76ers’ defense, then passed the ball to Jalen Brunson on the left wing. Brunson evaded Tyrese Maxey’s defense and sank a clutch 3-pointer, narrowing Philadelphia’s lead to 101-99.


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The 76ers regained possession with a two-point lead and 27 seconds remaining. However, they struggled to inbound the ball cleanly.

Kyle Lowry’s pass to Tyrese Maxey was mishandled, leading to a steal by Josh Hart. Hart then passed to DiVincenzo, who initially missed a 3-pointer from the wing. Fortunately for New York, Isaiah Hartenstein grabbed the offensive rebound and fed DiVincenzo for another shot. This time, DiVincenzo drained the go-ahead 3-pointer from the top of the key, giving New York a 102-101 lead.

As the final buzzer sounded, the 76ers had a chance to tie the game, but Joel Embiid’s 3-pointer missed its mark, bouncing off the rim and igniting a frenzy at Madison Square Garden.

Despite impressive performances from Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid, the victory belonged to the Knicks. They mounted a comeback from a 9-0 deficit and a 10-point first-half hole. With the series now heading back to Philadelphia, the New York Knicks hold a 2-0 lead. It was a close call for them, as the game could have easily been tied at 1-1.

76ers filing grievance over officiating

The 76ers weren’t happy with how things unfolded in the final moments. A team spokesperson informed reporters post-game that the 76ers plan to complain to the NBA regarding the officiating throughout the first two games of the series.

Head coach Nick Nurse of the 76ers also accused the officials of disregarding a timeout call during the chaotic late-game sequence.

NBA playoffs: Newyork Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 2-0 lead

“I signaled for a timeout,” Nurse explained to reporters. “The referee made eye contact with me but ignored my request. I signaled for a timeout again. Then the chaos erupted.”

“I suppose I’ll have to dash onto the court or take some drastic action to grab his attention. I desperately needed a timeout to advance the play. It would’ve been crucial. But I just couldn’t get it,” Nurse expressed.

Video footage of the closing moments captured the scene in detail. Nurse made a gesture that suggested he was anticipating a timeout as Lowry struggled to inbound the ball. Then, after the pass, Nurse signaled for a timeout. However, by that point, Maxey had lost control of the ball, leading to chaos on the court.

Maxey catches fire after being cleared late

By halftime, Maxey had racked up 20 points, while Embiid had notched 16 points and 10 rebounds. The 76ers held a 53-49 lead heading into the break, with the Knicks yet to take the lead. However, that changed midway through the third quarter.

The New York Knicks staged a comeback during the third quarter, culminating in Brunson’s layup in traffic with 4 minutes remaining, which secured New York’s first lead at 68-67. In the early stages of the fourth quarter, Bojan Bogdanovic sank consecutive 3-pointers — his first two buckets of the game — extending New York’s lead to 85-78.

The New York Knicks stretched their lead to 90-82 and seemed to be in firm control with 7:43 left on the clock. However, the 76ers weren’t ready to throw in the towel.

Thanks to six points from Maxey, Philadelphia launched a spirited 12-4 run, leveling the score at 94-94. Maxey’s back-to-back buckets, including a crucial 3-pointer with 1:09 remaining, propelled the 76ers back into the driver’s seat with a 100-94 lead. A free throw by Lowry extended the lead to 5 points with 47.1 seconds left.

Then came the frenetic final moments of the game, sealing the unlikely win for the New York Knicks.

Maxey and Embiid put on impressive performances. Maxey ended the game with a game-high 35 points, along with 10 assists and nine rebounds. He shot 12 of 22 from the field and 5 of 11 from beyond the arc.

Embiid’s knee hampered him as the game progressed, evident in his struggles to move up and down the court. Nonetheless, he managed to finish with 34 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and one block. His knee issues seemed to affect him in the post, as he failed to secure a rebound after halftime.

Unfortunately for the Sixers, their stars didn’t receive much support. Tobias Harris was the only other Philadelphia player to reach double figures, contributing 10 points and nine rebounds.

On the other hand, the Knicks showcased a well-rounded effort, with all five starters contributing double-digit points. Brunson led the charge with 24 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Hart recorded a double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds, along with three assists, two steals, and two blocks. He also made 4 of 7 attempts from beyond the arc.

DiVincenzo added 19 points, knocking down 4 of 8 shots from long range, while Hartenstein chipped in 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three blocks.

As the series moves to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Thursday, the 76ers are left pondering what could have been.

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