February 7, 2023

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The Knicks lose to 76 players while Joel Embiid and James Harden dominate

The Knicks lose to 76 players while Joel Embiid and James Harden dominate

James Harden didn’t get the chance to dance much on the Knicks’ grave when he was in Brooklyn, but he seemed to take a lot of pleasure doing so in a Sixers jersey at Sunday Park.

The Knicks season turned into a train wreck as Harden and quarterback Joel Embiid did whatever they wanted in the park before a large group of Sixers fans chanted “MVP” as the star center was at the free throw line.

The new dynamic pair were tied in at Fastbreak more often as Embiid finished with 37 points and Harden 29 points and 16 assists as the Sixers held onto a 125-109 win. Harden can be seen partying vigorously after some Embiid hoops from his plates.

The Knicks are in the midst of a five-game winning streak on national television and they totally don’t deserve this stage, playing all the games sloppy.

Knicks striker Julius Randle is suspended by 76ers’ Joel Embiid.
Robert Sabo/New York Post

But they squabbled and reserve point guard Emmanuel Quikley led a second-half surge that gave them a one-point lead early in the fourth before they took the lead.

Quickley finished with 21 points on 5 from 13 shots and was 8 to 8 from the free throw line.

This was the Knicks’ fifth loss in a row and they have been 3-15 in the last 18. In an 11-game loss under 0.500 at 25-36, the Knicks are looking into the chaos of March on a death march to their eighth appearance in the lottery in nine years.

Knicks guard Emmanuel Quikley leads to the basket during a game against the 76ers on February 27, 2022 at Madison Square Garden.
Knicks guard Emmanuel Quikley leads to the basket against the 76ers.
NBAE via Getty Images

From Friday night’s 46-point loss to the Heat, RJ Barrett tried to do a lot early. He finished with 24 points and four turnovers, only shot 9 of 22, and 6 of 10 on free throws. Evan Fournier added 24, but Julius Randle got another day off (16 points, 4 of 13).

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Randle’s miss 3 midway through the fourth resulted in a quick break for pictures as Harden led Embiid to a fierce championship.

The Knicks fell behind 75-64 with 8:08 left in the third inning after a pass by Randle was blocked by Mathis Thiepole, who fed Maxi for a quick snatch. But the Knicks scratched and scratched — with Quikley the first pest — and trailed only 91-89 after three. After leading Barrett to a layup, Quickley stole the incomes, dribbled to the 3-point line and nailed it but that was the end of the Knicks high points.

Knicks forward Julius Randle responds after scoring in the first half of the game against the 76ers on Sunday, February 27, 2022, at Madison Square Garden.
Knicks striker Julius Randle responds after scoring.
Robert Sabo

Knicks center Mitchell Robinson and rookie Jericho Sims each made a mistake trying to stop Embiid. (Nicks is heading toward something of a developmental movement and Tibodo didn’t play Crown Gibson or Nearness Noel, who was available but not 100% due to plantar fasciitis.)

Embiid attempted 27 free throws and Robinson took the property.

“I should have known that from last time to be more aggressive, especially in the park,” Robinson said. “He is the best player, right? I should have been more focused and ready to play. He did what he had to do and I should have played better.”