Knicks, 76ers going in different directions (Feb 12, 2018)
The Philadelphia 76ers will be looking to win their 10th straight game in the Wells Fargo Center when they host the New York Knicks on Monday night.
The Sixers, who last lost in their home arena on Dec. 21, have won three straight overall, and four of five, to improve to 28-25. Monday's game is the next-to-last they will play in a string of five straight at home heading into the All-Star break.
On Saturday, Philadelphia (28-25) dispatched the Los Angeles Clippers 112-98 behind Joel Embiid's 29-point, 16-rebound outburst. According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, he became the first Sixer player to record at least 24 points and 10 boards in four straight games since Hall of Famer Charles Barkley in 1992.
Embiid also tumbled to the floor and appeared to injure his right knee with 7:38 left in the game, but returned with 4:43 remaining.
"I think me and about 20,000 people held our breaths for the entire time," backup guard T.J. McConnell told reporters afterward.
Veteran guard J.J. Redick called Embiid "very dramatic" in his remarks to the media, and added that he thought the first-time All-Star was trying to draw a foul call from officials. And when Embiid was peppered with questions about his knee, he betrayed no concern.
"Can we just stop talking about my knee?" he told reporters. "I'm fine."
Embiid, averaging team highs of 23.8 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, was much more open to talking about the team's recent home success.
"We know playing in front of our fans always gives us an advantage because they are always so loud and passionate about it," he told Philly.com. "So I love playing in front of them."
The Knicks, who lost All-Star center/forward Kristaps Porzingis for the season to a torn left ACL last week, continued their free fall Sunday, losing 121-113 to the Indiana Pacers despite 17 points apiece by Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter. It was the sixth straight loss for New York (23-34).
Guard Emmanuel Mudiay, playing his first game for the Knicks since he was acquired in a trade with Denver, had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
"You see the moves he can do to get past guys," coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters. "Once he gets more familiar with our players and guys understand, 'Hey, get open because he's going to get it to you.' I said beforehand, if he's playing well, we'll let him stay in there. I thought he had good court sense, made some great passes."
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Sixers are expected to sign veteran guard Marco Belinelli on Monday, after he clears waivers. Belinelli was bought out of his contract by the Atlanta Hawks last Friday.
There is, however, no update on the condition of Philadelphia rookie guard Markelle Fultz. The top overall pick in last summer's draft, he has missed all but four games this season with what the team has described as a shoulder injury.