Tobias Harris Looks Like an All-Star in Sixers’ Win Over Knicks
Tobias Harris did not get an All-Star nod this season. Twenty-nine NBA coaches may live to regret that decision.
Behind a huge night from Harris, the Sixers overcame an ugly start to beat the Knicks, 99-96, Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. They extended their winning streak over New York to 14 games and their overall streak to six games. The win improves the Sixers to 28-12 and keeps them a half-game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets for the top spot in the East.
Playing their second straight game without All-Star center Joel Embiid, the Sixers struggled mightily to get anything going against New York’s stingy defense early. The open looks they’d been getting since the All-Star break weren’t there. The few good looks they got they didn’t convert.
The first quarter set the game of basketball back at least 20 years as both teams barely shot over 40 percent. Since the All-Star break, the Sixers had been averaging 129.3 points a game. The Knicks dictated the tempo throughout the first half, turning the game into a slugfest and making that total unattainable.
The Sixers as a team shot just 40 percent from the field and 4 of 13 from three in the first half. Harris and Ben Simmons combined for 23 points while Danny Green and Seth Curry shot a combined 2 of 12. The bench didn’t fare much better. Dwight Howard gave the team some life (11 points, seven rebounds), but New York’s 35-point second quarter saw them take a 56-48 lead at the half.
All-Star Julius Randle dropped 13 first-half points for the Knicks.
A much more aggressive Curry -- along with Harris -- helped to get the Sixers’ offense going. After taking just four shots in the first half, Curry went 5 of 7, including 3 of 4 from three, scoring 14 points of his 20 points in the third. Harris dropped in nine points ahead of yet another monster fourth-quarter performance.
In the final period, it was the Sixers’ defense that got the job done, holding the Knicks to just 14 points while Harris added eight more. Harris was a force offensively, dropping a game-high 30 points on 11 of 20 from the field and 4 of 6 from three. He was also outstanding defensively. Harris was the primary defender on Randle who went just 2 of 10 for six points in the second half.
Harris yelled, “I’m an All-Star!” to the crowd in attendance as he hit a huge fourth-quarter bucket. Perhaps he took this matchup against Randle, who played in last week’s game, a little personal.
Simmons turned in another solid performance, scoring 16 points to go along with 13 rebounds and seven assists while playing more strong defense. After turning the ball over three times in the first half, Simmons didn’t have any turnovers in the second. While Howard didn’t score in the second half, he finished with 12 rebounds and three blocks and came up big defensively down the stretch.
The Sixers are right back at it tomorrow as they host Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.