NBA Playoffs: Knicks rally for thrilling win over 76ers, lead 2-0; Sixers file officiating grievance – Yahoo Sports

NBA Playoffs: Knicks rally for thrilling win over 76ers, lead 2-0;  Sixers file officiating grievance – Yahoo Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers appear to have stolen a victory at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

But the Knicks stole it right away.

The 76ers rallied from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take a 101-96 lead into the final minute of the game. But chaos erupted in the final seconds of the game as the Knicks rallied for a wild 104-101 victory and a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the playoffs.

Frantic last minute secures Knicks victory

New York had the ball and trailed by five with 32 seconds left. Donte DiVincenzo drove through the 76ers defense to the bucket, then sent the ball down the left wing to Jalen Brunson. Brunson got around Tyrese Maxey, then made a 3-pointer to cut Philadelphia’s lead to 101-99.

The 76ers got the ball back with a two-point lead and the game clock at 27 seconds. But they were unable to recover the ball properly within the boundaries of the field.

Tyrese Maxey couldn’t handle Kyle Lowry’s inside pass and Josh Hart stole it from him. He sent the ball to DiVincenzo, who missed an open 3 from the wing. But we gave him another chance.

Isaiah Hartenstein got the offensive rebound and found DiVincenzo for another look at a go-ahead 3. This time, DiVincenzo found the back of the net from the top of the key to secure a 102-101 lead.

The 76ers finally tried to tie the game at the final buzzer. But Joel Embiid’s 3-point basket echoed off the rim as the buzzer sounded, sending Madison Square Garden into a frenzy.

The victory spoiled big nights for Maxey and Joel Embiid and saw the Knicks recover from a 9-0 hole and a 10-point first-half deficit. The series now returns to Philadelphia with New York holding a 2-0 lead. It was dangerously close for the Knicks to be tied at 1-1.

76ers file arbitration grievance

The final moments did not go well for the 76ers. A the team spokesperson told reporters After the game, the 76ers intend to file a grievance with the NBA regarding the officiating of the first two games of the series.

76ers head coach Nick Nurse, meanwhile, accused officials of ignoring a timeout during the late-game brawl.

“I called a timeout,” Nurse told reporters. “The ref looked me straight in the eye, ignored me. He walked into Tyrese. I called a timeout again. Then the scrum started.

“I guess I have to run on the floor or do something to get his attention. I needed a timeout to move forward. That would have been nice. I couldn’t get it.”

Video of the last moments (seen here or higher) caught everything. Nurse made an ambiguous gesture in apparent anticipation of a timeout as Lowry struggled to get the ball inbounds. He then clearly called a timeout after the inbounds pass. But by then, Maxey had lost control of the ball, which was loose.

Jalen Brunson's 3-pointer helped rally the Knicks.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Jalen Brunson’s 3-pointer helped rally the Knicks. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Maxey catches fire after late clearing

The evening started much better for the 76ers. Maxey was questionable during the day due to illness and Embiid was limited with a surgically repaired bad knee that has bothered him since returning to the lineup at the end of the regular season. Both were allowed to play before tip.

Maxey didn’t look any worse for wear. He opened the game with three unanswered 3-pointers to give the 76ers a 9-0 lead.

By halftime, he had 20 and Embiid had 16 points and 10 rebounds. The 76ers took a 53-49 lead into the break. The Knicks had not yet led. That would change midway through the third quarter.

The Knicks fought until the third before Brunson made a layup in traffic with 4 minutes remaining to secure New York’s first lead at 68-67. Early in the fourth, Bojan Bogdanovic hit back-to-back 3s – his first two buckets of the game – to give New York an 85-78 advantage.

The Knicks extended their lead to 90-82 and looked firmly in control with 7:43 remaining. But the 76ers weren’t done.

Led by six points from Maxey, Philadelphia went on a 12-4 run to tie the game at 94-94. Maxey’s back-to-back baskets, including a 3-pointer with 1:09 left, put the 76ers back in control with a 100-94 lead. A Lowry free throw extended the lead to 5 points with 47.1 seconds remaining.

Then the final frantic moments of the game followed to ensure the improbable victory for the Knicks.

Maxey and Embiid both had big games. Maxey finished with a game-high 35 points and 10 assists along with nine rebounds. He shot 12 of 22 from the field and 5 of 11 from 3-point range.

Embiid was clearly slowed down by his knee as the game progressed and struggled to get up and down the court at times. But he finished with 34 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and a block. His knee appeared to bother him in the post as he failed to get a rebound after halftime.

The Sixers stars didn’t get much help. Tobias Harris was the only other Philadelphia player to post double figures in scoring on a 10-point, nine-rebound night.

The Knicks, meanwhile, had a balanced effort with all five starters scoring in double figures. Brunson led the way with 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Hart doubled up with 21 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks. He made 4 of 7 3-point attempts.

DiVincenzo made 4 of 8 3-pointers en route to 19 points. Hartenstein had 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

The series moves to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Thursday, with the 76ers wondering what could have been.


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