Knicks STUN 76’ers in WILD FINISH!!! NY 104 Philadelphia 101

The Knicks lost.

And then they didn’t.

A Kyle Lowry free throw put Philly ahead by 5 points with 47 seconds left, and as he stepped to the line for the 2nd free throw that would put Philly up 6 — Knick fans sank in their seats at Madison Square Garden — the game lost; the series tied at 1-1.

Lowry missed the second free throw — but down 5 with 47 seconds left the game still seemed lost, as Jalen Brunson ran up court with the ball in desperation. Philly was all over Brunson with tight D — they knocked the ball loose as he drove the lane — he scrambled on the floor to regain control — Donte DiVincenzo grabbed it — fed it back to Brunson who hoisted up a 3 — that bounced off the rim, up, and then in!

A little bit of hope — but NY was still down 2 with 27 seconds left as Philly inbounded the ball.

It would take a miracle.

And the miracle happened.

Brunson and Josh Hart hounded the inbounds pass by Kyle Lowry — he rushed it and threw it high to Tyrese Maxey who couldn’t handle it — losing the ball and falling to the court — Josh Hart picked it up — passed outside to Donte DiVincenzo who Missed a 3 — but Isaiah Hartenstein came out of nowhere to grab the offensive rebound over 4 Philly players, made an incredible bounce pass in traffic to OG Anunoby who fed the ball back outside to DiVincenzo who HIT a 3 to put NY up a point with 13 seconds left!!

A MIRACLE, UNBELIEVEABLE turn of events as Madison Square Garden ERUPTED IN PANDEMONIUM and Mike Breen called BAAAAANGGGG!!!!  BAAAAANGGGG!!!! on the broadcast!

The game wasn’t over though. Philly called time out — inbounded into the back court and here came Tyrese Maxey with momentum to put Philly ahead. He drove left past Isaiah Hartenstein who picked him up — but Hartenstein stayed with him and as Maxey drove, Hartenstein got a piece of his shot, the ball banging off the backboard for a miss and OG Anunoby Pulling down the Huge rebound in traffic, and was fouled!

OG made both free throws to put NY up 3, but the game wasn’t over Yet. Philly had 6 seconds to try and tie it. Again the ball was inbounded to Maxey in the backcourt, who came up with steam — and fed Joel Embiid for a 3 — and Embiid — who had killed NY all night from 3 — missed.


Thibs’ Thoughts

“There’s been some pretty wild finishes but that’s up there with the best of them,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “And that shows you what the playoffs are all about – often times it’s a hustle play here, a hustle play there — just finding a way to win. We had some guys make some big shots, big hustle plays, getting on the floor, coming up with a steal, coming up with a block; made free throws. And we needed it all.”

“We had a lot of contributions from different people,” continued Thibs. “Bogey came in and hit big shots to start the 4th; Deuce gave us really good minutes. Josh was incredible. Donte. OG made big time plays down the stretch. The free throws, the rebounds, the hustle – and that’s what you need — you have to be a team and I feel that’s what we are.”

The Knicks take a 2-0 lead in the series — holding their home court. The series now goes to Philly for the next 2 games.

1. Philly Up 10 Early As Embiid Looks Healthy

Joel Embiid, who looked tentative in the 2nd half of the previous game after an injury scare on his surgically repaired right knee — looked fully healthy in this game, and dominated in the early going.

Embiid was getting offensive rebounds, tip-ins, scoring inside, and hitting 3’s. He hit two 3’s in the 1st quarter, and with a couple of 3’s by Tyrese Maxey and other scoring by Tobias Harris and Kelly Oubre Jr — Philly got out to a 9-pt lead.

For the Knicks, Jalen Brunson was looking more efficient than last game and Donte DiVincenzo was also bettering a prior-game so-so performance, hitting two 3’s in the 1st quarter. A Brunson pull-up pulled NY to within 7 at the end of the 1st.

2. Hart Leads NY Run Just Before the Half

The Knicks clawed at Philly in the 2nd quarter. Miles McBride entered the game and he made tough drives. But no matter what NY did, someone on Philly like Nicolas Batum or Tobias Harris would hit a 3 from the corner and Philly would be up 10 again.

But NY ended the half well, led by Josh Hart.

With NY down 10 and 1:28 left in the half, Josh Hart made a big 3 off a Brunson pass to pull NY within 7.

On the next time down, Hart grabbed an offensive rebound off a Brunson miss, and was fouled — Hart made 1 of 2 free throws.

With 34 seconds left, Hart grabbed a defensive rebound, sprinted up court and stopped and popped a 3 to pull NY within 3 at 51-48.

“Josh Hart puts himself in the right position not finds himself to make winning plays,” noted NBA Analyst Ross Kreines. “He beats u on the glass not with a 40+vertical or size but with effort, gets 50/50 balls by outworking you, defends and fearless. His will, work and effort put him and the Knicks in position to win.”

3. Knicks Take the Lead in the 3rd

The start of the 3rd was a heavyweight fight — both teams exchanging punches. Joel Embiid went back to work inside but Isaiah Hartenstein matched him, scoring on dunks and tip-ins.

DiVincenzo was playing frenetic defense on Tyrese Maxey, and scoring as well — hitting a 3 and an athletic drive.

The Knicks finally pulled into the lead on a Jalen Brunson jumper with 4 minutes left in the quarter.

Basketball fans know — the game had just started — as every game starts with 3 minutes left in the 3rd.

Isaiah Hartenstein made consecutive floaters inside off Brunson passes off drives, and NY was up 74-72 with 1:48 left.

Mitchell Robinson came in for Hartenstein, and after an OG Anunoby score inside, Mitch grabbed an offensive rebound off an Anunoby miss next time down — and went to the line for free throws.

He missed the first — but hit the second to put NY up 77-72 and Madison Square Garden was jubuliant.

4. Bogey Shooting Puts NY Up 7 Early in 4th

With NY up 79-74 entering the 4th, Philly went to work — Embiid and Maxey with consecutive buckets to make it a 1-pt game.

Thibs brought in Bojan Bogdanovic, and it was a perfect move.

Bogey hit consecutive 3’s to put NY up 7.

Miles McBride ripped the ball away from Tyrese Maxey off a rebound, and put the ball back up and in — NY up 87-80 with 8:18 left and the Garden Roaring.

Maxey made free throws, but McBride hit a pullup-and-1 — the 3-pt play giving NY a 90-82 lead with 7:43 left.

Things were looking good for NY.

5. Philly Takes Lead with Late 4th Quarter Run

But then pain-in-the-ass Kyle Lowry hit a 3 from the corner, and here came Philly.

Maxey and Embiid fueled Philly; Brunson and Hartenstein off Brunson passes, fueled NY for the next few minutes. An Embiid jumper-and-1 pulled Philly within 2. A Maxey score tied the game 94-94 with 3:49 left.

DiVincenzo had been playing a tremendous game, with frenetic D on Maxey and also hitting his shot — but you looked and he wasn’t in the game — there wasn’t room for him with McBride, Brunson, Hart, OG, and Hartenstein on the court. But with 3 minutes left, Thibs put DiVincenzo back into the game for McBride. It would prove a game-winning move.

But not at first — Philly jumped on top — Lowry with a free throw, and consecutive buckets by Tyrese Maxey including a killer 3 with 1:09 left put Philly up 4. Meanwhile consecutive Brunson pullups rimmed out.

Brunson missed a 3 with 49 seconds left and Kyle Lowry took it to the rim down the other end, fouled by DiVincenzo.

The game was over.

Lowry hit the first free throw. Philly up 5 with 47 seconds left, with a free throw coming.

6. The Incredible Finish

And then the Miracle happened.

The Boxscore


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