Knicks Blow Gaskets off 76’ers in Philly. NY 128 Philadelphia 92

The Knicks fronted Philly a 10-point lead in the 1st quarter, and then proceeded to blow their gaskets off — taking a 20-point halftime lead, maintaining a double-digit lead throughout the 3rd quarter, and then really putting the pedal to the metal in the 4th quarter to rout Philly off the court — leading by as many as 39 points en route to the 128-92 win.

In Philly on a Friday night; a nationally televised game on ESPN.

Isaiah Hartenstein DOMINATED Joel Embiid on both ends of the court. Josh Hart had a +46 and 15 rebounds. Miles McBride — unlocked by the Immanuel Quickley trade — came off the bench to hit 4 (four) 3-pointers in the 1st quarter. Jalen Brunson took the baton from McBride and started hitting 3’s and drives for 29 pts, as did Donte DiVincenzo (4-6 from 3; 14 pts) as did Quentin Grimes (4-9 from 3; 19 pts). OG Anunoby made key plays on offense and defense. The Knicks played great Defense and smart, motion, passing offense.

NY looked like a championship contender.

And all of that despite Julius Randle having the worst offensive night of his season — 1-11 shooting for 8 pts. But Randle didn’t force the offense — he let everyone else score and finished with 7 rebounds, 5 assists, a steal, and a +8.

“I thought we had a number of guys play well,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “They’re a tough team. In this league you can’t feel too good about yourself; we got to be right and ready tomorrow night.”

“We got great production from a number of people,” continued Thibs. “Deuce came in early and played great for us. Quentin gave us great minutes particularly in the 2nd half; he got going. Isaiah picked up that early foul so that was a big concern, but he played with a lot of discipline; Embiid is a lot to deal with on every possession. I thought Josh was fantastic all around — everything: defense, play making, hustle.”

“I thought guys played very unselfishly; they hit the open man; they were trusting the pass,” added Thibs. “Julius didn’t make shots but he played well, and that’s the important thing — to understand you can play well when you don’t shoot well. Just do things to help the team. I thought the defense was real good; the rebounding was outstanding; high assists, low turnover — all the things you look for.”

NY improves to 20-15. Philly drops to 23-11.

1. Knicks Front Philly a 10-Pt Lead in 1st Quarter

The Knicks jumped out to a 7-3 lead on the play of Donte DiVincenzo.

But Philly came right back and took control on the scoring of Tyrese Maxey, who was using his quickness to drive to the bucket for scores or free throws. When Kelly Oubre Jr. hit a 3, Philly was up by 10, 26-16, with 4 minutes left in the 1st quarter.

2. Deuce “Trey” McBride Lights Up End of 1st Quarter

But then the Knicks 2nd team came out and Miles McBride fed Hartenstein for a bucket inside, and then hit four consecutive 3’s to pull NY into a 32-28 lead. By end of the quarter NY was up 34-30.

“We’re going to have to start calling him “Trey”! He’s not a Deuce he’s a Trey!” — said Walt Frazier on the broadcast.

The Immanuel Quickley trade has unlocked McBride — who was out of the rotation this season after the addition of Donte DiVincenzo to the backcourt. McBride’s addition to the rotation last season (at the expense of Derrick Rose who found the bench) turned the Knicks season around.

Knicks management seemed to be announcing this strategic move by re-signing McBride to a 3-year extension right after the Quickley-RJ Barrett trade.

3. Brunson Starts Lighting It Up

Then the two players the Knicks got in that trade scored 8 straight NY points to start the 2nd quarter: OG Anunoby hit a 3 and then made 2 free throws, and Precious Achiuwa hit a 3 to give NY a 42-34 lead.

Then Jalen Brunson took over — hitting 3’s and spectacular drives — and NY was on its way to a 20-point halftime lead.

4. Hartenstein Dominates Embiid on Defense & Offense

Isaiah Hartenstein dominated inside on both defense and offense — finishing with 17 points on 8-9 shooting with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals.

Hartenstein’s ability to put the ball on the floor on offense, and distribute the basketball with excellent passing to set up teammates, or take it to the hole for floaters or drives, was key.

On Defense — he blocked shots point blank at the rim — one against Kelly Oubre Jr, and later swatting Embiid.

In the game against Minnesota last week, Hartenstein blocked Rudy Gobert three times point blank at the rim on dunk attempts. This time, he blocked Joel Embiid inside — on one play in the 4th “sending it back like Thursday.”

“Isaiah Hartenstein plays fearless and challenges everything at the rim,” noted NBA Analyst Ross Kreines. “Also, a well run, unselfish fast break that leads to a layup.”

5. Knicks Finished Quarters Well

The Knicks were able to finish quarters well:

  • NY finished the 1st quarter well on the shooting of McBride and then a final bucket by Josh Hart to take a 4-pt lead;
  • NY finished the half well — taking a 20-pt lead into the 3rd quarter; then
  • NY finished the 3rd quarter well: Philly had cut the Knick lead to 12 but a Hartenstein dunk off a McBride dish with a minute left put NY’s lead to 14. Then McBride took a shot from the corner and was fouled by Patrick Beverly with the shot clock expiring and 10 seconds left in the quarter — McBride made all 3 free throws to give NY a 17-pt lead heading into the 4th.

6. Grimes Lights Up 4th; Knicks Played Motion, Passing Offense

Quentin Grimes lit up the start of the 4th quarter with a 3, a drive for 2 free throws, and then another 3 and NY was up 21.

Josh Hart was everywhere, all night — ripping down rebound after rebound, defending, passing, hitting key shots.

“Josh Hart makes winning plays with his effort, activity and he takes no play for granted,” noted NBA Analyst Ross Kreines. “Josh is relentless on the glass by outworking you and wanting it more, defends, unselfish and he always makes the extra pass and extra effort plays. You don’t need a boxscore to see his impact.”

The Knicks played smart, trust-the-pass basketball. Everyone was in motion.

Brunson fed Hartenstein with a tremendous pass for a bucket inside with 5:53 left and NY was up 114-81. Brunson then hit a 3 next time down, and QGrimes hit a 3 after that.

The Boxscore



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