Instant Replay: Knicks 93, Sixers 92


Instant Replay: Knicks 93, Sixers 92


The Sixers keep getting closer and closer.

They cut a double-digit deficit to a one-possession game in the final minutes against the New York Knicks before Michael Carter-Williams had a three-pointer rim out at the end of a 93-92 loss. The defeat was the Sixers’ 23rd in a row overall and 18th straight at home.

Turning point
After being down 17 points midway through the fourth quarter, the Sixers battled back and trailed 92-90 with 32.5 seconds to go.

With the ball and a chance to tie or go ahead, James Anderson threw the it away trying to hit Thaddeus Young in the corner for a three-point attempt. It was just the Sixers’ 11th turnover of the game.

Carmelo Anthony was fouled after the turnover and split a pair of free throws to keep the door open for the Sixers. Carter-Williams received the inbounds pass and raced the floor before firing a three from the top of the key that hit the backboard and bounced off the rim prior to rolling out.

Follow the leader
Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler both finished with double-doubles. Stoudemire had 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Chandler recorded 17 points and 10 boards.

Despite finishing with 21 points, Anthony did not shoot the ball well. He was just 5 of 16 from the floor in the game.

Carter-Williams flirted with a triple-double. He had 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.

Thaddeus Young scored 21 points, extending his game streak of at least 20 points to five straight.

The Sixers had a dismal second quarter. They went 5 for 25 from the floor, including 2 for 14 from behind the arc. They tied their season low for points in any quarter this season with 12.

The Sixers were 10 of 41 from three-point range in the game.

Take a bow
Henry Sims had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Eight of Sims’ rebounds were on the offensive end.

Injury update
Anderson returned to the starting lineup after missing two games with a right quad contusion. Hollis Thompson went to Brett Brown’s bench, allowing Tony Wroten to make his 16th start of the season.

Wroten did not last the entire game. With six minutes to go, the guard rolled his right ankle and needed to be helped off the court.

What’s next?
The Sixers play head to Chicago to face the Bulls on Saturday night.

The Sixers suffered a 102-94 loss to the Bulls on Wednesday. Six Bulls players scored in double figures during the game, led by D.J. Augustin’s 20 off the bench.

Young led all scorers with 24 points in the game.

Embiid and Okafor want to play together, but not just yet, says Brown

Embiid and Okafor want to play together, but not just yet, says Brown

CAMDEN, N.J. — If all goes as planned, a time will come when the Sixers can roll out a dominating frontcourt duo with Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor sharing the court in lengthy stretches.

That moment has to wait, though, as both Embiid and Okafor are on minute restrictions. As he returns from a knee injury, Okafor currently is coming off the bench and backing up Embiid.

“This conversation with Jahlil and Joel is more intelligent and applicable at a later date,” Brett Brown said at practice Friday. “When Jahlil’s minutes start going up and Joel can, then it’s a real conversation. I do think you may see them sooner than even I thought together. But as far as making it a real constant part of a strategy or rotation, it’s beyond too early days.”

In an ideal world, Brown could pair the two bigs now and use all of their allotted minutes (Embiid 20, Okafor 14) at once. That would leave an extensive workload on second-year bench player Richaun Holmes.

“This is a hot topic,” Brown said. “I will say it one more time: If I play Jahlil and Jo together, I hope Richaun can play 35 minutes.”

It’s an unrealistic expectation for Holmes, who averaged 13.8 minutes in 51 games last season. Brown caps the majority of the Sixers at six-minute segments to keep them competing at a high energy level.

“Right now, he’s a backup,” Brown said of Holmes. “I think he’s going to be an NBA player for a very long time. I just feel like in the role, he’s a second-year player that didn’t really have much of a role last year. He’s shown everybody that he’s for real. He really can play a role. At this early stage, that is the key word.”

Embiid and Okafor have been envisioning competing together since Okafor was drafted two years ago. They became friends long before they were NBA players and have an easy chemistry on the court as a result.

“I think it’s going to be exciting,” Embiid said. “We played a little bit together today in practice. We’re figuring out how to play with each other. It’s a process and we’ve got trust it.”

Yes, the players know they have to wait, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for them to resist an opportunity to play with one another.  

“I think once we figure it out, we can really dominate together,” Okafor said. “We were able to flirt with it again today. We accidentally keep ending up on the same team even though Coach keeps telling us to make sure we alternate. But we’re having fun. We’re trying to put some pressure on it because we want to play together.”

Is that accidentally with air quotes?

“Yeah, exactly,” Okafor said with a laugh.

'Trust the process' has a different, more personal meaning to Joel Embiid

'Trust the process' has a different, more personal meaning to Joel Embiid

CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid is all about trusting the process.

He manages to insert the well-known phrase into just about every interview, hashtags it on social media and soaks in the chants during games. 

While “trust the process” is commonly associated with former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie’s patience-required approach to building the team — which resulted in three years of dismal losing and suffering setback after setback — Embiid has his personal take on the mantra.

“I think I have my own process,” Embiid said Friday at practice.

Embiid is playing for the first time this season after waiting two years to recover from foot injuries. His long-anticipated debut was a focal point of “the process,” and his return to the court marked a new chapter in the organization.

“I went through two surgeries, lost my brother, thought about some stuff I shouldn’t have thought about, so that’s my own process,” he said. “And then the process of going through the rehab and finally getting back on the court and getting the chance to finally play in the league, that’s my process.”

Embiid is now synonymous with the word. He credits Sixers fans for the moniker, which he added to his Instagram profile. 

“I don’t think it came from me,” he said. “Fans just started and then I just went along with it.”

Wednesday marked the next step in the process, both for the Sixers and Embiid. His regular-season debut (20 points, seven rebounds, two blocks) was a long time coming and garnered buzz all over the NBA world.

“I was the third pick and then I missed two years,” Embiid said. “The excitement in the city, everybody’s happy to finally see me play. Even though it was weird because a lot of people kind of wrote me off a long time ago saying that I’d never play as a Sixer, I’d never play in the league. So it’s all fun. Everybody’s going to have an opinion.”

He’s just got to trust in his own.