Embiid and Harden help the 76ers pass Knicks to win 8th straight place

NEW YORK (AP) – The Philadelphia 76ers weren’t playing well, and worse, Joel Embiid thought he was playing soft.

He and James Harden have the Sixers on too good a roll to stay down too long.

“We just know how to play. We just know what to do,” Embiid said.

Embiid scored 35 points, Harden had 29 points and 13 assists and the 76ers beat the New York Knicks in the last quarter and extended their winning streak to eight games with a 119-112 win on Sunday.

Georges Niang hit four 3-pointers in Philadelphia’s fourth-quarter rebound to finish with 16 points, while De’Anthony Melton added 15 points as the 76ers got off to a good start on a four-game road trip after hitting a homestand in seven games had defeated.

“It was one of those games where you just have to keep at it,” Harden said. “Stay here, stay here and in the fourth quarter give yourself a chance.”

And the ’76 grabbed it.

After never leading through three, they outplayed the Knicks 24-9 to open the fourth, turning a one-point deficit into a 116-102 lead.

Julius Randle had 35 points and Jalen Brunson had 23 points and 11 assists for the Knicks, who have lost three straight games after an eight-game winning streak.

“Again, we’re just not doing enough to win right now and we need to fix that,” said Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau.

Harden had the best game of his career on Friday with 21 assists and played the entire second half, helped by the 76ers turning to a zone defense, and scored 18 points.

Embiid scored 15 points in the third quarter and Harden took over when Embiid went to the bench with a four-pointer play and another 3-pointer that cut it to 96-95. He made another 3 in the first minute of the fourth to equal it at 98, then found Niang for a 3 that gave the 76ers their first lead at 10:37.

Niang hit consecutive 3s mid-period before Embiid had two baskets and Harden made one and set up the other in an 8-0 tide that put it away at 116-102.

Embiid, the NBA’s top scorer, started slow and the Knicks led 37-25 to one. They were still eight ahead when Embiid scored with 6.2 seconds left, and when Brunson lost the ball as New York tried to put in a final shot, Shake Milton grabbed it and put in a 50-foot Shot at the buzzer who made it 63-60.

TIP INS

76ers: Coach Doc Rivers said PJ Tucker has any pain or injury affecting his hand, but he’s not worried about it just yet. … Rivers said the 76ers brought two busloads of families to the game.

Knicks: The Knicks fell to 23-32 in their 55th Christmas appearance. … The Knicks played their last home game in 2022. They’re taking a three-game road trip to Texas next week, beginning with Brunson’s return to Dallas on Tuesday.

60 POINT PERFORMER

Bernard King, who set the Christmas record in 1984 with 60 points, was there. That was the Knicks’ single-game scoring record to a performance of 62 points on Jan. 24, 2014 from former All-Star Carmelo Anthony, who sat next to him and received a huge ovation as he pointed to the overhead video board was shown in the first quarter.

HARDEN AND HOUSTON

By the ’76s, Harden didn’t want to think about his future. ESPN reported ahead of the game that he is considering a return to Houston, where he has played 8 1/2 seasons, if he decides against a new contract with Philadelphia in the summer.

“I’m here, we’re playing very well and I don’t know where this report came from,” Harden said, “but I’m happy to be here and we’re playing well and we’re getting better and better.”

NEXT

76ers: Tuesday in Washington.

Knicks: Tuesday in Dallas.

More AP NBA: and

https://www.abc27.com/sports/philadelphia-76ers/embiid-harden-help-76ers-blow-by-knicks-to-win-8th-straight/ Embiid and Harden help the 76ers pass Knicks to win 8th straight place

Brian Ashcraft

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