What doomed the Sixers was getting outscored 28-15 in the first quarter. The Sixers were never quite able to rebound from the early deficit. The Knicks commited 21 turnovers but shot 79% from the free throw line whereas the Sixers shot a pedestrian 67% from the line. The game started out quickly with the teams swapping buckets. The Knicks kept up the solid shooting in the first shooting 57% from the field and holding the Sixers to a mere 32%. The Knicks opened their lead to 16 before the Sixers were able to trim the lead down to 10 at halftime.
After the half, the Sixers were able to trim the New York lead to four before Carmelo Anthony score seven straight to end the period. The New York offensive assault continued into the fourth when they pushed their lead to 17 points. With the Knicks leading by 17 and the Sixers in the third game in as many days, it would not have been a surprise for them to pack it in and chalk this one up as a loss. The Sixers did the opposite and stormed back into the game. The Sixers went on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to seven. The lead went back and forth between seven and nine until th eSixers were able to bring it to within four points with about a minute remaining. The Sixers missed some open shots and free throws down the stretch which doomed them in the end. The Sixers would get no closer than four and lose 85-79.
Despite losing, the Sixers held the Knicks to 85 points tonight and, entering the game, the Sixers were holding teams to 85.6 points per game which was best in the league. It is clear that, tonight, defense was not the issue for the Sixers. The issue was offensively they forced shots early, missed open looks and free throws late.
The Sixers get back at it Friday at the Wells Fargo Center against the Wizards at 7:00 pm. Friday and Saturday are part of a home and home with the Wizards.
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