Just weeks after the New York Rangers spoiled the Winter Classic for Philadelphia Flyers fans, the two cities took the hardwood for what would be an early test for both teams.
Once again, New York came away victorious.
From the get-go, the New York Knicks dominated and despite a late rally from the 76ers, held on for a 85-79 win.
The Knicks needed Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire to step up big and the two stars answered the call. Combining for 47 points, Carmelo scored 12 of his 27 points in the third quarter and Stoudemire registered his second straight double-double. Only two nights after their bench contributed just three points against the Bobcats, the Knicks were pleasantly surprised when the bench added 21 points tonight, including 13 from rookie Josh Harrellson.
After starting the season with a record of 7-2 and atop the Atlantic Division, the 76ers quite possibly had their worst performance of the 2011-12 campaign. Believe it or not, the main reason for the lowly performance may have been the tormenting defense of the Knicks. That is not a typo.
The 76ers shot just 39.5% from the field and looked absolutely flat in the first half in which they scored only 35 points.
Without starting big-man Spencer Hawes, the 76ers struggled to replace his 11.1 ppg and 9.1 rpg, as well as his simple presence in the paint. Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner added 16 points a piece, but poor shot selection coupled with the harassing defense of the Knicks caused team-leading scorer Lou Williams to add just two points.
Trailing by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter, the 76ers rode the hot hand of Thaddeus Young, who netted eight points in the quarter, to close within four in the final minute of play–but the Knicks proved to be just too much.
After playing back-to-back-to-back games, the 76ers are off tomorrow before hosting the Wizards in the first leg of a home and home series on Friday. The Knicks take their four-game win streak to Memphis to square off with the Grizz Thursday night.
About the Author
Written by Mike Rapine
Graduated last year from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Mathematics with a focus in Statistics. I was a member of their baseball team and overall have a sense of sports from not just the average fan's perspective. Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where we fall in love with our sports teams each year, despite the preconceptions of a playoff demise ultimately happening. Obviously, any opinions are personal in nature and should be taken as my own.