New York Knicks

As they continue the tradition of MLK Day matinees at MSG, the New York Knicks knocked off the Philadelphia 76ers 119-113 today in a double-OT thriller.

New York Knicks 119 (21-22)
Philadelphia 76ers 113 (5-38)
NBA, Final Game Box Score
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

By Robby Sabo

These Philadelphia 76ers didn’t resemble the rag-tag clueless bunch who went forever without collecting a win. This 76ers team was led by lightning quick point guard Ish Smith.

The New York Knicks knew it too.

Even though the Knickerbockers led by as many as 18 points late in the third quarter, this Philly team made this MLK Day matinee at Madison Square Garden one to remember – adding onto the list of exciting games that fall under this MSG tradition.

Smith made the most noise overall. His 16 points and 16 assists had Jose Calderon on skates in the fourth quarter. He was so dominant that anytime he touched the ball the entire Knicks defense would break down.

Philadelphia was position to stun the Garden crowd holding a three-point lead with just seconds left.

But Carmelo Anthony was on the floor:

Melo’s heroics forced overtime, and provided New York with second life.

At the end of the first overtime it was the Knicks who held a three-point lead, but it was Philly’s turn to come up big. Robert Covington banked in a three from the right extended elbow to once again tie the game.

Anthony had a great look from about 15-feet away on the other end with a chance to send the fans home happy, but missed badly.

It wasn’t until the second overtime until the Knicks assumed control of the game.

Derek Fisher finally had an awakening and substituted for Calderon. He inserted Langston Galloway who turned into one of the Knicks biggest heroes down the stretch. Instead of completely allowing Ish Smith to beat him off the dribble – like Calderon was – Galloway offered the ability to compete.

New York’s defense tightened up and the offense made just enough shots to come away with the six point win.

Arron Afflalo led all Knicks in scoring with 25. Melo, while he shot terribly from the floor (7-28), finished with 19.

Kristaps Porzingis made his presence felt early, especially as he hammered down this dunk while looking like a straight gazelle:

He also showed his worth in the column of hustling:

The top concern right now from the Knicks locker-room is actually Porzingis though. Late in the fourth quarter he went up for an offensive rebound and came down funny on his right leg. It was hobbling and immediately taken out of the game, never to be seen again. They’re calling it a right foot injury. KP finished with a double-double.

The key to this contest came down to the charity stripe. Philly shot just 13-of-25 while New York capitalized on 25-of-30.

The Knicks now improve to 21-22, yet again just one-game under that magical .500 mark. Up next will be the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night from the Garden.

NEXT: KP Takes Court-Side Photo With ‘Crying Kid’ 

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]