Forward Tobias Harris maintained his status as a new All-Star within the Philadelphia Sixers and with 30 points led them to the sixth consecutive win after beating 99-96 to the New York Knicks.
Harris, who has perfectly made up for the absence of the Sixers’ star center, the Cameroonian Joel Embiid, injured and out for two weeks, also contributed six rebounds, two assists, recovered a ball and put up two blocks. While guard Seth Curry dominated shooting from outside the perimeter, allowing him to contribute 20 points, including four 3s from seven 3-point attempts.
The Philadelphia Sixers (28-12) maintained their grip on the Eastern Conference position, in large part because Harris was inspired by the final minutes. He scored seven points in a row, including the tying basket and a layup that gave them the lead with a 96-92 run.
Then he left the field shouting “I’m an All-Star!” Harris believed he should have joined his teammates, Embiid and Australian point guard Ben Simmons, who finished the game against the Knicks with a double-double of 16 points, 13 rebounds – 10 defensive – and seven assists.
Who if he was in the 70th edition of the All-Star Game, which was played on March 7 in Atlanta, was power forward Julius Randle, who did it for the first time, and before the Sixers he finished as leader of the Knicks at get a double-double of 19 points and 16 rebounds.
While the Canadian forward RJ Barrett reached 17 goals, but they were not enough to avoid defeat for the second consecutive game in consecutive nights with a game. The night before, the Knicks had played at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn (New York), against their neighbors, the Nets, who won 117-112.
The loss left the Knicks with a losing aggregate record of 20-21, but in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Philadelphia Sixers, without Embiid, had won all three games since the All-Star break by at least 22 points, but against the Knicks they had to work harder.
The Philadelphia Sixers’ reserves highlighted them in the fourth period with guard Matisse Thybulle and Turkish forward Furkan Korkmaz who scored consecutive triples, which allowed the Philadelphia team to reduce the deficit to four points (83-87) and remained in the field when Simmons and Harris returned to action.
Veteran center Dwight Howard kept the difference of four points by making a clean block on Randle’s penetration, and Simmons scored consecutive baskets that left the quarter at 87-89 until Curry with a triple gave them the advantage of 90-89 and 5:01 minutes left. The Knicks managed to tie at 92 with 3:18 to play, but Harris made it 94-92 and the Sixers never again let the lead slip away to secure the victory.