NBA: Anunoby returns, Hart has triple-double as Knicks rout 76ers

NBA: Anunoby returns, Hart has triple-double as Knicks rout 76ers

/ 03:52 PM March 13, 2024

OG Anunoby Knicks beat 76ers NBA

Filmmaker Spike Lee, left, pats New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) on the back after Anunoby scored a 3-point basket against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK — Josh Hart had 20 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists in his fourth triple-double of the season, OG Anunoby scored 14 points in his return from an 18-game absence and the New York Knicks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 106-79 on Tuesday night.

Jalen Brunson added 20 points and nine assists for the Knicks, who finally got one of their injured starters back and looked nothing like the team that was held to an NBA season-low 73 points in a loss to the 76ers on Sunday.

“I think we played to our strengths,” Hart said. “I think we played faster. We took care of the ball. We rebounded the ball. We cut, we moved, we got good shots.”

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Anunoby hadn’t played since Jan. 27 because of a right elbow injury that required surgery. New York is still playing without All-Star Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson because of injuries, but has held its opponent below 80 points in three straight games for the first time since the 2000-01 season.

The Knicks improved to 13-2 in games that Anunoby has played in after acquiring him from Toronto in a Dec. 30 trade.

The Madison Square Garden crowd greeted him with a rousing ovation after he was introduced with the starting lineup and Anunoby drew louder cheers when he threw down a thunderous dunk after stealing the ball from Buddy Hield late in the third quarter.

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“It felt great. It’s been a while,” Anunoby said. “Missed playing here, missed the fans, missed my teammates.”

Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 19 points and Tyrese Maxey had 17 after missing the previous four games because of a concussion.

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“I felt pretty good. I was definitely tired when I came out the first time, my wind,” said Maxey, who played 27 minutes. “It’s kind of difficult because only so much you can do while you’re in the protocol. But overall, it was all right.”

The 76ers beat the Knicks 79-73 on Sunday in a game that had the lowest-combined score in the NBA this season.

This time, the Knicks shot 50.6% from the field and 35% from long distance after shooting 32.5% from the field and 22.5% from 3-point range.

Philadelphia, still without NBA scoring leader Joel Embiid, continued to struggle offensively. The 76ers shot 37.5% from the field and 24.2% beyond the 3-point line. On Sunday, the 76ers shot 38.8% from the field and 30% from long distance.

Philadelphia coach Nick Nurse was upset with the effort his team showed to start the game and called his first timeout after the 76ers fell behind 6-0 with 10:21 remaining in the first quarter.

The 76ers were held to 14 points in the first quarter Tuesday after scoring 15 Sunday.

“Their speed, they were moving faster than we were,” Nurse said. “Their physicality, I thought on the ball, was a big difference on both ends.”

New York had an 18-point lead to start the third quarter before the Sixers went on a 9-2 spurt and made it 61-51 on Maxey’s 3-pointer that forced a Knicks timeout with 8:33 left in the quarter.

The Knicks answered with a 15-2 run capped by Donte DiVincenzo’s 3 with 4:34 remaining in the period to extend the lead 79-53.

Philadelphia shot just 1 for 6 and turned the ball over twice during that stretch.

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NEXT SCHEDULE

76ers: Conclude their three-game road trip at Milwaukee on Thursday.

Knicks: Visit Portland on Thursday for the start of a four-game road trip.

TAGS: NBA, New York Knicks

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