Heartbreaker. Knicks Lose a Game they Had Won. Philly 112 NY 106 in OT

The Knicks had a 6 point lead with 28 seconds left. They were this close to clinching the 1st round series over Philly.

All NY had to do was not foul, and hit their free throws that would come as Philly would be forced to foul.

But the Knicks fouled. And they didn’t hit their free throws.

Mitchell Robinson came over on a switch to defend Tyrese Maxey as Joel Embiid set a pick on Miles McBride — and Maxey hit a 3 and was fouled by Robinson for a 4-pt play.

Down by 2 points, Philly was forced to foul Josh Hart. All he had to do was hit both free throws and NY would have a 4-pt lead with 15 seconds left.

But he missed the 1st free throw; hit the 2nd.

Tyrese Maxey came down and hit a 3 from the logo — 35 feet out — for a tie game with 8 seconds left.

The game went into Overtime where the Knicks jumped out to a 5-pt lead, but Philly rolled off 9 in a row to take it — 112-106 at a STUNNED Madison Square Garden.

Brutal loss.

“Tough way to lose a ballgame,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “We had the lead. We got to play tougher with the lead. We fouled in a situation that we didn’t want to foul in. In the end, Maxey hits a big shot. We got to do better.”

NY’s lead in the 7-game set is reduced to 3-2. Next game in Philly Thursday night.

1. Philly Jumps Out to 9-Pt Lead

Philly, their backs to the wall in an elimination game for them, jumped out to a 10-2 lead on the scoring of Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris. Maxey scored 9 points in the 1st quarter on drives, 3’s, and pullups.

Joel Embiid came out looking very tentative on his left knee, which he had surgery on in February to repair a torn meniscus. He was questionable before the game, but played. He did not seem to want to jump inside — and stayed mostly on the perimeter — but still hit a 14-foot pullup, and got free throws off a drive.

The Knicks missed their 3’s, and Philly jumped out to a 26-17 lead at the end of a quarter.


2. Knicks Take Command in 2nd — Outscoring Philly 32-17

The Knicks turned on the fire in the 2nd quarter — going on a 20-5 run to start the period.

Jalen Brunson started the run with a step-back jumper, then stole the ball from Paul Reed inside, leading to Donte DiVincenzo free throws off an ahead-of-the-field drive where Kelly Oubre Jr got dangerously under him.

Mitchell Robinson — looking healthy after the sprained ankle kept him out of game 4 — started to take advantage of the tentative Joel Embiid inside. Robinson BLOCKED Embiid’s 2o-footer at the 9 minute mark, and owned the boards inside.

The Knicks clamped down their defense, and Brunson continued to go to work offensively, helped by OG Anunoby Miles McBride — who hit a 3 to put NY up 31-28, and a J on the next possession to put NY up by 5, at 33-28.

A Mitchell Robinson SLAM off a Josh Hart assist put NY up 37-31 at a ROCKING Madison Square Garden.

The tv camera caught all the Knick greats sitting somewhere on the sidelines — Patrick Ewing with John Starks, Latrell Sprewell with Marcus Camby, Larry Johnson, Alan Houston, Bernard King — everyone was there, including Walt Frazier on the broadcast.

Isaiah Hartenstein came in for Robinson, and hit 2 free throws to put NY up 10 at 44-34. NY looked like it might pull away.

But Tyrese Maxey scored a flurry of drives sandwiching a Nicolas Batum 3 and Embiid jumper, and Philly pulled to within 49-43 at the half.

3. Philly Comes Back in 3rd, Takes Lead

Maxey again came out on fire to start the 3rd — making a drive and 2 straight jumpers to put Philly up.

Jalen Brunson answered.

Embiid looked rejuvenated — scoring on short jumpers.

The quarter ended on a flurry of back-and-forth 3’s:

  • Tobias Harris hit a 3 to give Philly the lead, 66-65, with 2:14 left in the quarter.
  • OG Anunoby answered with a 3 to give NY back the lead.
  • Cameron Payne answered with a 3 to put Philly back up a point.
  • Josh Hart answered with a 2-pt jumper to put NY back up 70-69 entering the 4th.

4. Knicks Take Command in 4th; Miss Key Free Throws

Maxey started the 4th with a jumper and Batum hit a 3 to put Philly up by 4 points. A Maxey jumper put Philly up 5 with 8:58 left.

But Miles McBride hit a huge 3 to slice the lead.

The Knicks tightened their Defense. Hart made a jumper and Anunoby made a drive and NY was back up.

A McBride drive put NY up 3 with 6:15 left.

5. Knicks on Verge of Win — Lose It

In a riveting ending:

  • Anunoby hit a J putting NY up 5, with 5:45 left.
  • Harris answered with a J.
  • Brunson hit a drive-and-1 putting NY up 6 at 85-79.
  • Maxey answered with a 3.
  • Brunson hit a drive.
  • Oubre dunked inside to pull Philly back within 3.
  • Embiid hit a 7-footer to make it a 1-pt Knick lead.
  • Brunson made free throws to put NY up 3 with 2 minutes left.
  • Mitchell Robinson knocked the ball away from Embiid, leading to an Anuoby ahead-of-the-field slam and NY was up 91-86 with 1:39 left as Madison Square Garden Erupted. It looked like Anunoby was fouled on the play but it wasn’t called.

  • Maxey raced down the other end and made a floater, and a foul was called — but Maxey missed the free throw.
  • Brunson hit a step-back to give NY a 93-88 lead with 1:12 left!
  • Anunoby came up with a HUGE steal on the right baseline and was fouled going to the basket on a breakaway. He hit 1 of 2 free throws and NY was up 94-88 with 54 seconds left.
  • Oubre hit a layup inside with 50 seconds left,
  • Miles McBride hit a HUGE jumper in the lane for a 96-90 Knick lead with 28 seconds left and seemingly the ballgame.

And then the horror happened. Mitchell Robinson fouled Maxey on a 3 for a 4-pt play. Hart missed a free throw. Maxey hit a 3 from the logo. Brunson’s final drive to win it was blocked by Batum out of bounds at the regulation buzzer.

“Just like you shouldn’t leave your feet when passing the ball don’t leave your feet trying to block a 3. Stay down,” advised NBA Analyst Ross Kreines.

6. Overtime

Brunson shook off the bad ending to regulation and hit a 3 and a drive to start Overtime and put NY up 5.

  • But Maxey hit a 3, Oubre made a dunk off a Maxey assist, Embiid made a jumper-and-1 and Philly pulled out to a 106-102 lead.
  • Brunson drove and was blasted in the head by Embiid — a flagrant on Embiid — Brunson hit 1 of 2 free throws and then hit a 3 to tie the game at 106 with 1:14 left!
  • But Oubre snuck underneath for a drive that rolled out and in as Walt Frazier shouted “get out of there” on the broadcast. Philly had a 108-106 lead.
  • Brunson missed a jumper but on the ensuing play, Hartenstein nearly stole the ball causing the ball to go off Embiid’s hands for a turnover.
  • NY had the ball down 2 with 18 seconds left — Brunson faked a 3 and instead passed the ball to Hartenstein on the right baseline — but Hartenstein wasn’t expecting it and the ball went out of bounds.

NY was forced to foul, and Philly hit their free throws.

7. Maxey and Brunson Spectacular

  • Maxey ended with 46 points on 17-30 shooting and 7-12 from 3, with 9 assists.
  • Brunson had 40 points on 15-32 shooting and 6-9 from 3, with 6 assists, and 3 steals.

The Boxscore


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