After Sunday night’s resounding crash with Ricky Rubio’s showtime at the Garden, the New York Knicks have taken the thorn with an important victory over the best record in the Eastern Conference. Tom Thibodeau’s men beat Philadelphia 76ers 103-96 with a new double-double from Julius Randle (31 points and 12 rebounds).
The Knickerbockers they needed to win after having three defeats in the last four days. And Randle upped his team with eight points in a row during the final stretch.
‘He was a monster at all times. The way he started the game, the energy with which he played … It set the defensive tone, “said Tom Thibodeau about Randle. “When he plays like this, he makes us a very different team,” he added.
Andre Drummond started in place of Joel Embiid with 14 points, 25 rebounds and 2 rebounds. For his part, Furkan Korkmaz added 19 points, and the Sixers saw a six-game winning streak snapped.
The Knicks again complicated a clash that seemed to be on track with a 19-point lead in the first half. However, a favorable 14-25 run for the Sixers brought them back into the fight.
Georges Niang brought the Sixers closer to 89-88 with a triple with 5:00 left to go, but it was then that Randle took control of the game with a transitional basket and two three-pointers in a row to lead 97-91 to 2:54 left until the final honk.
I only took what the game gave me. Those are the moments I want, ”Julius Randle acknowledged.
RJ Barrett also added a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds; and Evan Fournier and backup Immanuel Quickley added 11 and 10 points respectively.
Sources of ESPN leaked before the crash that Joel Embiid had tested positive for COVID-19. However, the Sixers neither confirmed nor denied the news. They simply claimed that he was “in trouble.”
He’s not doing very well. Similar to Tobias (Harris), ”said Doc Rivers. “Clearly a concern,” acknowledged the technician.
Embiid is the fourth member of the Sixers who causes loss due to the health and COVID-19 protocols implemented by the NBA. The others are the aforementioned Harris, Matisse Thybulle and Isaiah Joe.
The Cameroonian center is averaging 21.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4 assists in this start of the season, being the main reference of his team in the absence of Ben Simmons, still out of the team due to his friction with management.
Knicks: Kemba Walker returned to the starting lineup after losing out in loss to Cavs. The UConn point guard had 8 points and 5 assists in 27 minutes. For his part, center Nerlens Noel retired in the second quarter due to knee problems.
Sixers: Tobias Harris missed his fifth straight game; Isaiah Joe the third; and Thybulle the second. Danny Green did return after missing the last three games due to hamstring problems (8 points).
(Portrait photo: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)