Enes Kanter can solely achieve this a lot. The Knicks’ beginning heart is taking over the President of Turkey and the Philadelphia 76ers’ entrance line. He may have used slightly assistance on Christmas however did not obtain a lot.
The Knicks, who performed their final house recreation of the calendar 12 months on Monday, wasted an enormous effort by Kanter and self-destructed within the fourth quarter because the Sixers, behind Joel Embiid, held on for a 105-98 win on Christmas Day.
Kanter completed with 31 factors and 22 factors whereas Embiid, enjoying his first-ever recreation at Madison Sq. Backyard, completed with 25 factors and 16 rebounds. J.J. Redick added 24 and T.J. McConnell completed with 15 whereas Ben Simmons, the highest general choose of the 2016 NBA Draft, had two massive fourth-quarter dunks in his MSG debut.
The Sixers snapped a five-game dropping streak and improved to 15-18 whereas the Knicks fell to 17-16 and can now play 14 of their subsequent 17 on the street. Kristaps Porzingis added 22 for the Knicks and Courntey Lee scored 20.
Kanter had 25 factors and 18 rebounds by three quarters however the Knicks nonetheless went into the ultimate interval trailing, 79-75. Philadelphia bought an enormous elevate from back-up level guard McConnell, who beat the Knicks with a last-second soar shot final 12 months in Philly. McConnell scored eight third-quarter factors, together with a nook three and a three-point play when he drove previous Ntilikina and transformed a lay-up as he was fouled by the rookie.
Jeff Hornacek opened the fourth with each Kanter and Porzingis on the bench and leaving Kyle O’Quinn to protect Embiid. Within the first half, Embiid schooled O’Quinn with a spin transfer into the lane and moments later blocked O’Quinn’s shot. O’Quinn fared higher within the fourth by forcing Embiid right into a turnover and an air ball.
The Sixers’ lead was 84-77 when Porzingis returned with 9:10 remaining and McConnell shortly made it a nine-point recreation. However with Kanter dominating the glass, together with a put-back for a dunk, and Porzingis pulling down an extended three, the Knicks drew even at 89.
Philadelphia answered with 4 fast factors, together with a dunk from Simmons, who had scored simply 4 factors previous to changing a turnover into an uncontested slam. Hornacek known as outing to run a play for Porzingis, whose shot was extensive. Simmons then missed two free throws however after Lee didn’t convert a runner, Redick knocked down a transition three to place Philly forward, 96-89, with three:30 left.
Kanter answered with an uncontested dunk as Embiid, both drained or just not eager to foul, cleared a path for Kanter. Sixers coach Brett Brown instantly known as a outing to present Embiid a relaxation. Dario Saric’s two free throws made it 98-91 and on the Sixers ensuing possession Embiid hit the largest shot of the day, a nook three because the shot clock expired.
The Sixers had been up 101-93 with the ball however three straight turnovers however after Courtney Lee hit a runner, Michael Beasley missed two free throws and Porzingis’ errant move was intercepted by Simmons for an uncontested dunk. The basket made it 103-95 with 1:06 remaining after which following a outing Beasley was known as for a five-second violation.
The Knicks bought a slight break when Lee hit a 3 and Porzingis was fouled on the discharge. However with an opportunity to chop the result in 4 with 26 seconds left, Porzingis missed the free throw.
Embiid did not play on the Backyard throughout his one and solely season at Kansas. He then missed his first two seasons because of harm and final 12 months performed simply 31 video games however was sidelined for each video games at MSG. the 7-foot heart from Cameroon has change into one of many must-see points of interest within the NBA, so Christmas marked a very good time for him to make his New York debut.
There have been a number of cries of “Belief the Course of” and a loud cheer when Porzingis rejected Embiid’s shot into the third row. Nonetheless, Embiid was as dynamic as marketed. Early within the second half, Jarrett Jack was known as for a Flagrant 1 after nailing Embiid with a flying hip test. Jack did the identical factor to LeBron James final month with totally different outcomes. James made the shot and Jack was merely known as for a standard foul. Embiid hung robust and his dagger three from the nook confirmed his potential to play each within the publish and on the perimeter.