May 27th, 2024

Joel Embiid scores 50 points to lead 76ers past Knicks 125-114 to cut deficit to 2-1

By Dan Gelston, The Associated Press on April 25, 2024.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Joel Embiid scored 50 points, making all four 3-point attempts and scoring 18 in a potential series-shifting third quarter on Thursday night to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 125-114 win over the New York Knicks in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

Embiid boldly stated “we’re going to win this series” after the 76ers dropped Game 2.

With one of the finest postseason efforts of his career, Embiid became the third player to ever score 50 points against the Knicks in the postseason and kept the hope of a Philadelphia series comeback very much alive.

The Knicks lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday in Philadelphia.

Embiid was 13 of 19 from the floor overall, made 19 of 21 free throws and hit five 3-pointers.

Last season’s NBA MVP, Embiid finally turned the crowd — which had a distinct New York flavor in South Philly — into one rocking for the home team. The All-Star center played more like a sharpshooting guard in the third, when he saved the season.

The Sixers pecked away at a three-point halftime deficit when Embiid got hot. He hit one 3 and then two more – – the last two with assists from Tyrese Maxey – that gave the Sixers an 82-72 lead. His fourth 3 pushed the lead to 98-85.

Not bad for a career 34% 3-point shooter.

Maxey added two 3s in the quarter and the 76ers went a whopping 9 of 12 from beyond the arc for 43 points.

After getting punished in New York, the Sixers pushed back.

Embiid’s bulky left knee brace helped sturdy the 7-footer after dealing with injuries all season. He mostly kept his cool and was in the mix on both ends of the court all game. Embiid had 17 points, three fouls and he even grabbed Mitchell Robinson and dragged him to the court in a first half where they again weren’t good enough to look like a team that could beat the Knicks.

The Knicks won the first two games in New York, highlighted by Donte DiVincenzo’s go-ahead 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in Game 2. Against the backdrop of two Villanova national championship banners they helped the program win, the trio of former Wildcats were largely stifled in Game 3.

Jalen Brunson did lead the Knicks with 39 points and 13 assists. Josh Hart – whose spectacular 3-point shooting in New York was an unexpected bonus for the Knicks – scored 20 points but DiVincenzo had five.

They must felt at home inside a Sixers’ arena that sounded more like Madison Square Garden as chants of “Let’s Go Knicks!’ echoed throughout the arena for a chunk of the game. John Starks wildly cheered them on from his courtside.

The Sixers countered with Allen Iverson.

But nostalgia didn’t matter much between two teams that played each other in a postseason series for the first time since 1989.

This one could be shaping up as one to remember.

Embiid was serenaded with “MVP! MVP!” chants as he stretched the lead from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

“Joel Embiid has been banned from the Empire State Building,” was posted on the skyscraper’s social media account.

Maxey finished with 25 points. Kelly Oubre Jr. had 15 points and showed no lingering effects following his reported involvement in a car crash after Game 2.

Game 3 was played without any significant disputes with the officiating after the NBA said the referees missed several late calls in Game 2.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Knicks: Robinson suffered a sprained left ankle. He scored two points in 12 minutes.

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

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