Knicks pull off Game 2 miracle to stun 76ers


The Knicks were buried.

Jalen Brunson had just missed his sixth consecutive shot, and the crowd, in excitement all evening, remained silent.

Dead and silent.

Their opportunity in the second game had passed. The curtain was falling.

And then the miracle happened.

Donte DiVincenzo #0 reacts after hitting the game winning three-pointer over 76ers Nicolas Batum late in the fourth quarter. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“Reggie Miller moment,” Clyde Frazier said afterward in the halls of MSG. “It’s all fate, man. All destiny.

In one hectic and exciting 14-second span, the Knicks turned a five-point deficit into a one-point advantage, riding that wild wave to a 104-101 victory over the Sixers at MSG and a 2-point lead. 0 in the series.

The big shot came from Donte DiVincenzo, whose three with 13.1 seconds remaining gave the Knicks a one-point lead.

But the sequence requires complete accounting:

Playing poorly all night, Jalen Brunson finally made a 3-pointer – his first of the fourth quarter after six straight misses – to cut the lead to 2 with 27 seconds left.

His shot required a lucky bounce at the rim.

In bounds for Philadelphia, Josh Hart, a Game 2 hero, stripped Tyrese Maxey, who fell helpless to the field.

Tyrese Maxey #0 loses the ball as New York Knicks guard Josh Hart #3 and New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson #11 defend in the final seconds of the game. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

He found DiVincenzo, who missed a 3-pointer, which led to an offensive rebound from Isaiah Hartenstein.

The ball then passed from Hartenstein to OG Anunoby then to DiVincenzo for the Knicks’ biggest shot in years.

“Find a way,” Brunson said.

Donte DiVincenzo #0 reacts with Jalen Brunson #11, Miles McBride #2 and Josh Hart #3 of the New York Knicks after the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first round playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Getty Images

“It was very loud in there,” DiVincenzo added. “Honestly, after missing the first one, I was really, really, really hoping that Isaiah would get (the rebound) because I knew the rotation of everything, I was going to get a second look. Thank goodness he got the offensive rebound.

Still, the Knicks needed a few more big plays to secure a celebration — and Hartenstein responded with strong competition on Tyrese Maxey’s missed potential layup with 7.6 seconds left.

Anunoby iced the win from the foul line.

Joel Embiid seeks call in Game 2 vs. Knicks Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Tyrese Maxey (0) gestures after making a 3-point basket during the second half of Game 2. P.A.

Once the dust settled, the Knicks outscored the Sixers, 8-0, in the final 27 seconds.

“There were some pretty crazy finishes, but those were among the best of them,” Tom Thibodeau said. “It just shows you what the playoffs are all about. And a lot of times it’s a game of hustle here, a game of hustle there, you just have to find a way to win. Tonight we made big shots, made big hustle plays, got on the floor, got a steal, made a block, made free throws. We did everything.

“I never think the games are over,” added the coach. “And it shows you, you can make up ground very quickly. A 3 goes in, you get a steal, you get another 3, they miss a few – and the next thing you know, the game changes. And that’s how quickly it can change. And you need luck. Sometimes the ball bounces your way, and we had a few that bounced around the rim and went in, so that’s part of it, too.

The Knicks got away with another bad game from Brunson.

Jalen Brunson celebrates during Game 2 against the 76ers on Monday. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

He followed his Game 1 miss with a Game 2 clunker, shooting 8 of 29 overall – leaving him 16 of 57 in the series.

But his teammates picked up the slack, including his former Villanova teammates Hart (21 points) and DiVincenzo (19).

The Sixers, meanwhile, got plenty of their stars, even if they shook hands in the final seconds. Joel Embiid and Maxey were listed as questionable on the injury report before the game.

Josh Hart #3 of the New York Knicks shoots the ball as Nicolas Batum #40 of the Philadelphia 76ers and Tobias Harris #12 defend during the second half in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first round playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Getty Images

And both looked good.

Maxey, who was dealing with an illness, had 35 points and 10 assists. He took over in the fourth quarter, outplaying Brunson until those fateful final 27 seconds.

Embiid, who has been hit and gone while recovering from knee surgery, was down 34 and 11 points.

Faced with these numbers, the Knicks still triumphed. They came back for their encore.

“I don’t think our confidence ever wavered,” DiVincenzo said.

Load more…

Copy the URL to share

News Source :
Gn sports

Back to top button