Knicks Defeat Sixers 107-97 (It wasn’t even that close…)


27. Final. 97. 93. 107

Friday night, the New York Knicks visited the city of brotherly love and took on the Philadelphia 76ers.

Nerlens Noel made his return against New York, after missing the last couple of game with a corneal abrasion. In his return, Noel finished the game with 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks.

The Knicks though easily cruised to a 107-97 victory over the 76ers despite the return of Noel. New York sleep walked to an early 30-23 lead by the end of the first quarter with Carmelo Anthony and Arron Afflalo combining to score 19 points in the opening period.

Anthony notched double figures scoring within the first quarter alone; scoring 11 points but would really struggle the rest of the game… Anthony would score only five more, finishing the game with 16 points on 14 field goal attempts… not efficient… not good…

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Philadelphia’s best wing defender, Robert Covington really aided Anthony in his early first half success. Covington foolishly picked up fouls all night long, going to the bench within three minutes of tip-off. Then when Covington checked back in during the second quarter, he would not last another three-minute before picking up another foolish fool. Once again taking a seat on the bench.

Speaking of bench. New York’s bench came out strong to start the second quarter, going on a 16-7 run to begin the period to gain a 46-30 lead with 7:39 remaining in the first half. The Knicks really pulled away with the athletic play of Derrick Williams putting the game away in transition.

Williams scored eight of his total 17 points in the second quarter. The bench scored 52 points Friday night, getting much burn in a blowout game. This allowed the starters to get some rest with another game tomorrow night against the Chicago Bulls. Although with the Bulls playing quadruple overtime against the Detroit Pistons Friday night, I think it is safe to say that the Knicks will have the fresher legs Saturday night.

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During the second quarter where New York pulled away from Philadelphia; outscoring the 76ers 35-21 in the period, the Wells Fargo Center sounded like it was Madison Square Garden. Chants of “Por-Zing-Is” erupted from the Wells Fargo Center after Kristaps Porzingis blocked Tony Wroten. Wroten though… did not seem to learn his lesson. Less than a minute later Porzingis would swat Wroten again, leading to more “Por-Zing-Is” chants. Porzingis finished the game with 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks.

New York would lead by as many as 30 points, with the fourth quarter being completely garbage time. Afflalo finished the game with 22 points and 7 rebounds en route to claiming the best +/- of any player Friday night, with a +18.

The Knicks benefited greatly from the 76ers poor free-throw shooting. The game could have been a lot closer, particularly in the first half. Philadelphia left eight points off the board by going only 4/12 from the charity-stripe in the first half.

Although this is nothing new, as the 76ers are the third worst free-throw shooting team in the league at 69.3% per The only teams with a worst percentage is the Pistons (66.3 FT%) and the Los Angeles Clippers (67.8), and that’s because they have Andre Drummond (38.6 FT%) and DeAndre Jordan (39%); where opposing teams deploy the Hack-a-Shaq strategy.

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Third overall pick Jahlil Okafor bested the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, finishing the game with 20 points and 5 rebounds but it was Porzingis and the Knicks that won in blowout fashion. Given more minutes and a more competitive game, I am sure Porzingis would have been able to go back at Okafor. Show him why he is the Rookie of the Month.