Game Preview | Madison Square Garden Matinee Up Next
by Lauren Rosen
An to rebound awaits the 76ers (27-16) Sunday at Madison Square Garden, as they face the New York Knicks (10-32).
Despite a triple-double from Ben Simmons and a 30-point performance from Jimmy Butler, the Sixers felt Joel Embiid’s absence Friday (right ankle soreness), falling to the Atlanta Hawks in the final seconds, 123-121, at The Center.
Brett Brown said afterwards his team can do better, and Sunday’s trip to New York offers a chance to bounce back and build momentum with a difficult stretch of the schedule looming ahead.
The Sixers have won their last six matchups against the Knicks, including decisive victories in the teams’ first two meetings this season. Brown commended his club, particularly his bench, after it won its first meeting with the Knicks, 117-91, on November 28th.
“I thought the guys that came in held the floor,” Brown said. “I thought they played organized basketball, competitive basketball.”
T.J. McConnell was a plus-25, producing six points and six assists, while Mike Muscala tallied 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Sixers shot 54.0 percent from the field, and out-assisted the Knicks, 34-14.
Most recently, the Sixers topped the Knicks, 133-109, at home on December 19th. Ben Simmons had a triple-double (13 pts, 12 reb, 10 ast), and Joel Embiid finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
In both of the Sixers’ victories over the Knicks this season, every available Sixer scored.
Without star power forward Kristaps Porzingis (ACL), the Knicks have struggled this season, dropping 11 of their last 12, as well as their last seven at home. Tim Hardaway Jr. leads the team in scoring (19.8 ppg), while Enes Kanter averages 14.4 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
• Audio: 97.5 FM The Fanatic / Sixers Radio Network
• Video: NBC Sports Philadelphia / NBC Sports MyTeams app