The New York Knicks came into Philadelphia, and for the first three quarters, ran the 76ers out of their own gym. With the Knicks, though, the game isn’t over until there’s three zeros on the clock, and that was the case tonight, even with a 19-point lead in the third quarter. The Knicks held on, desperately, for a 97-92 victory, even trailing by a point with under two minutes left in the game. Toney Douglas and Carmelo Anthony both hit clutch three-point shots, as the Knicks passed the Sixers in the Eastern Conference, taking over the six seed for now.
Sixers swingman Thaddeus Young catapulted the Sixers back into the game in the fourth quarter, making five field goals. The Sixers finally took a one point lead on Jody Meeks’ fast break layup, and it looked like the Knicks would lose a heartbreaker. But on the next possession, Douglas came around a screen and pulled up for a deep three from the left elbow, knocking it down. With the Knicks up one point with under 30 seconds left after an Andre Iguodala three pointer, Anthony hit his only shot of the fourth quarter. Anthony’s dagger three-pointer gave the Knicks a dramatic victory, their 40th of the year; it’s the first time the Knicks have reached the 40-win plateau since the 2000-01 season. Anthony finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, the night did not end perfectly. Chauncey Billups reinjured his thigh, the one that sidelined him earlier this season, and did not return. The Knicks were able to hold on this time without ‘Mr. Big Shot", but his status cast a shadow over the victory. It didn’t look as serious as his last one when it happened, but it remains to be seen how long Billups could be sidelined.
As of now, the Knicks are back in sixth place and have won five games in a row. Next up is a trip to another Atlantic Division rival, the New Jersey Nets on Friday.