KNICKS 80 76ERS 97 | WELLS FARGO CENTER
How it happened:
The new Knicks lineup might need some time to develop chemistry with the infusion of Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert.
On Saturday night in Philadelphia, Felton made his highly anticipated return to the floor after missing more than four weeks of action and 12 games due to a fractured pinky finger. Unfortunately, New York could not celebrate his appearance back in the starting lineup as it fell 97-80 to the 76ers.
Head coach Mike Woodson placed Felton next to Jason Kidd, who is dealing with back issues and Shumpert shifted to the small forward spot. Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler anchored the post positions while J.R. Smith and Amar’e Stoudemire continued their second unit roles.
The Knicks cut Philadelphia’s lead to six points late in the second quarter but the home team rallied on a 7-1 run over a two-minute time span to conclude the period.
Behind Jrue Holiday’s 12 third quarter points, the 76ers maintained their solid play and pushed the lead to 29 points. Holiday scored 19 of his 35 points in the first half, proving his worth as an All-Star point guard in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia’s point guard registered a new career high to go along with six assists and five boards.
On the other side, Anthony finished with 25 points and nine rebounds. Stoudemire was the most productive man off the pine with 20 points. Felton posted eight points and three assists in his return.
New York fell to 26-15 on the season and split the quick road trip after defeating Boston on Thursday night.
Knick of the Night:
The bright spot in the loss was the performance of Stoudemire. In 26 minutes, the big man dropped 20 points on an efficient 8-of-13 shooting from the field. He connected on all four his free throw attempts and added two blocked shots to a solid final line in the box score.
The Knicks 35 percent shooting and 18 turnovers were uncharacteristic and a major reason the team could not find offensive cohesion tonight.
The Knicks will jump on the plane directly after the game back to New York. On Sunday night, the team will play the second of a back-to-back against the Hawks at Madison Square Garden.