Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Anthony's 37 Points Help Knicks Hold off Game Sixers

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Anthony's 37 Points Help Knicks Hold off Game Sixers

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia 76ers arrived at Madison Square Garden with their star rookie, Joel Embiid, watching from the bench with a left knee contusion, another of their prized lottery pick big men, Nerlens Noel already departed for Dallas with little return, and No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons already declared out for the season.

And they also arrived just a half game behind the Knicks in the standings.

What that may show is that there are no sure things in setting out rebuilding plans. The Sixers have preached, "Trust the process," although somewhere along the line they didn't trust it enough to keep the architect of it, Sam Hinkie, in place.

The Knicks went with, "Trust in Phil," which hasn't resulted in Phil Jackson losing his job - although he has run through four coaches and 45 players along the way to this point. So on an unusually beautiful February day, fans at Madison Square Garden were treated to this epic battle of movable objective versus resistible force.

In a battle of these plans gone awry the Knicks were better on this night - or worse if a high lottery pick is what you're seeking - as they rode 37 points from Carmelo Anthony for a 110-109 win.

Up by 17 in the third quarter the Knicks saw the Sixers inch back slowly, pulling within three, 103-100, after Anthony missed on a dunk with 2:35 left and Okafor hit a pair of free throws on the other end.

Derrick Rose answered with a jumper for the Knicks, but T.J. McConnell's floater brought Philadelphia within three again. After one of two from the line for Kyle O'Quinn, McConnell brought them within one, 106-105, with a three-pointer with 1:27 to play.

Anthony hit what looked like a dagger, a tough jumper with 1:04 left to give him 35 points. But the Sixers kept coming. Okafor converted in the lane and after a turnover the Sixers Gerald Henderson misfired from three, Dario Saric got the rebound and was blocked by O'Quinn, but Okafor hit a shot in the lane for a one-point Philadelphia lead with nine seconds to play.

There was no secret about the plan as the Knicks came out of a timeout and put the ball in Anthony's hands. He dribbled the clock down and with Robert Covington in tight coverage, calmly drained a side jumper with 0. …

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