Knicks run out of gas after early lead in loss to 76ers – NewsAlarts

PHILADELPHIA — Josh Hart was at Wells Fargo Center on Friday night, arriving shortly before tip-off, but he was there only as a spectator. 

The Knicks could’ve used him. They had no answers down the stretch after leading by double digits for large stretches of a frustrating 119-108 loss to the 76ers. 

Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson ran out of gas after fast starts and the Knicks’ second-half defense was porous as they lost to Philadelphia for the second time in three meetings this season. The big difference between Friday and the Knicks’ win over the 76ers on Sunday: The play of James Harden and Tyrese Maxey. The duo combined for 45 points after being held to 12 apiece on Sunday. Joel Embiid torched the Knicks for 35 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as Tom Thibodeau’s team, playing an 11th-straight game without center Mitchell Robinson, managed 15 fourth-quarter points. 

The Knicks were within three points, at 111-108, with just under two minutes remaining and had the ball. But RJ Barrett forced up a shot in the lane and the 76ers reeled off eight straight points to put the game away. 

Joel Embiid dunks during the 76ers’ win over the Knicks on Feb. 10.
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Jalen Brunson dribbles during the Knicks' loss to the 76ers on Feb. 10.
Jalen Brunson dribbles during the Knicks’ loss to the 76ers on Feb. 10.
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Brunson and Randle each scored 30 points, but had just two apiece in the fourth quarter. Barrett added 19 points and Immanuel Quickley scored 13 off the bench. 

The Knicks started as if they had been shot out of a cannon, scoring 20 of the game’s first 27 points. Brunson scored 13 of those points as part of a monster first quarter in which he scored 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting. 

Led by Maxey, the 76ers started the second quarter well, getting within two at one point. After being held to 12 points in the last meeting between the two teams, the 76ers’ sixth man produced one more point than that in the first half alone. 

Tom Thibodeau reacts during the Knicks' loss to the 76ers on Feb. 10.
Tom Thibodeau reacts during the Knicks’ loss to the 76ers on Feb. 10.
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Joel Embiid shoots during the 76ers' win over the Knicks on Feb. 10.
Joel Embiid shoots during the 76ers’ win over the Knicks on Feb. 10.
Getty Images

But the Knicks, buoyed by Barrett and Quickley, responded with a 12-2 run to push the lead back to double figures. They were up 65-59 at the break, the Knicks riding 60 percent shooting from the field and the 76ers’ 5-for-20 output from beyond the 3-point arc. 

Randle had it going in the third quarter, scoring 12 of the Knicks’ first 21 points in the period as they established a double-digit lead. Similar to the first half, the 76ers answered and were within five after Maxey’s steal and 3-pointer with 5:23 left in the quarter, forcing a Thibodeau timeout. 

The stoppage didn’t help matters. Embiid scored on three of the next four possessions and the 76ers went ahead for the first time on the strength of a 13-0 run. The Knicks found their footing from there and took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter. 

But the final quarter started poorly for the Knicks, who missed their first three shots and were down five, 100-95, after a Maxey 3-pointer with 9:39 to go. They never led again. 

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