Preview: Philadelphia At New York
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
The woeful Philadelphia 76ers and resurgent New York Knicks meet up Wednesday in the Big Apple, and amazingly it is the Knicks who are on a losing streak. The 76ers snapped their 18-game slide to begin the season with a 103-91 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, riding 14 3-pointers to their first victory in a span of 29 games dating to last season.
The win overshadowed Kobe Bryant’s final game in his hometown of Philadelphia. The Knicks have followed up their 8-6 start with a four-game skid, the latest of which – a 116-111 overtime setback against Houston on Sunday – came with leading scorer Carmelo Anthony sidelined due to an illness. Rookie Kristaps Porzingis continued his outstanding early-season run with 20 points and 13 rebounds in 41 minutes as New York fell to 3-6 at home. The Knicks have won three straight meetings with the 76ers at Madison Square Garden and haven’t lost a season series to Philadelphia since the 2008-09 season.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE 76ERS (1-18): The squad’s initial victory coincided with a solid return for Nerlens Noel, who had missed the previous two games with knee issues. He finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and a season-high three assists in 26 minutes off the bench, spearheading a group of reserves that outscored Los Angeles’ substitutes by a 40-22 margin. Noel averaged 18 points on 56.4 percent shooting and 11.7 rebounds in three games against New York last season.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (8-10): Anthony was present for the first three games of New York’s slide, which were decided by an average of 15 points, but absent when the team took a lead into the final minute of regulation against Houston. He returned to practice Tuesday and will likely push Lance Thomas back into a reserve role while cutting into Arron Afflalo’s role. The latter erupted for a season-high 31 points on 13-of-19 shooting in Sunday’s loss.
1. 76ers SF Robert Covington is averaging 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.3 steals over a six-game span.
2. Philadelphia has dropped 15 in a row on the road dating back to a win in Denver last March.
3. Porzingis is averaging four blocks over his last five games.
PREDICTION: Knicks 104, 76ers 91