All eyes were on Kristaps Porzingis vs. Joel Embiid in the league's first Christmas matchup of the day, but Enes Kanter stole the show with 31 points and 22 rebounds as the Knicks lost to the Sixers 105-98.
Porzingis had 22 points on 6-19 shooting with 7 rebounds and 5 steals. Embiid outdueled Porzingis, as the Sixers' star scored 25 points with 16 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Not in our house. pic.twitter.com/Za0FKnSNBP- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 25, 2017
Courtney Lee added 20 points on 8-13 shooting.
Jake Brown | Twitter |
First off, Merry Christmas.
Second off, this may have just topped Friday's loss as the most infuriating loss of the season. It was tight throughout, and the Knicks just couldn't prevail down the stretch. There's something about losing to Embiid and his antics that makes losing to the Sixers more frustrating than losing to almost any other team. The refs were atrocious today and made so many bad calls against the Knicks. With that being said, you can't win missing 10 free throws and making mental errors down the stretch.
What a wasted effort today after an unreal game from Kanter. The big man had an absurd stat line of 31 points and 22 rebounds. He really carried the Knicks in a game where Porzingis could not make shots or free throws. He was 6 of 19 from the field and 9 of 14 from the free throw line. Also, the Knicks didn't make a three-pointer until the third quarter. They were 4 of 15 from downtown. It's becoming more apparent than ever how much this team truly needs Tim Hardaway Jr. on the floor. They go through some lapses where they can't score and can't make threes. On the other side, the Sixers made 10 threes, and TJ McConnell was making their Christmas a nightmare. He was wide open almost every time, and gave Jarrett Jack nightmares on the defensive end. It's tough to take a grip on the fact that he may have been the MVP for the Sixers today.
What makes losing to Embiid and the Sixers even more difficult? The Knicks have three road games coming up and six of their next seven are on the road. They are already halfway through their home schedule and it's not even 2018. This was a win they really needed to have, and they should have had. These road games will determine their season and if they are a contender or pretender. Right now, they are tied with the Heat for the final playoff spot, and they can quickly fall out of the playoff race with more woes on the road. The Knicks Christmas wish should be for Hardaway Jr. to come back...and come back soon.