Sixers Snap Knicks Two-Game Winning Streak In MSG Matinee

Published on: 7th November, 2010

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doug collins
Sixers Snap Knicks Two-Game Winning Streak In MSG Matinee  | read this item

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New York – Sometimes you just have to give credit where it’s due. Today, after losing to the visiting Philadelphia 76ers in a noon matinee at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks should just doff their caps to the Sixers for the way they snapped the Knicks two-game winning streak, 106-96.

The Sixers, like the Knicks, have been a struggling franchise for several years. They came into today’s game with a 1-5 record but are beginning to see the light of day under new coach, Doug Collins who left a cushy television commentator’s job to try to turn around this franchise.

“It felt so good to win, today,” Collins said. “It just feels good to see our guys feel good about themselves and to win on the road today.”

Amar’e Stoudemire had 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Knicks, who were held to just 15 points in the final period. After consecutive wins, they heard boos from the home fans as they walked off the floor at 3-3.

“We had some mental lapses,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We came out too not focused like we needed to be.”

The Knicks had led for most of this game and seemed to be playing in cruise control. In the fourth quarter though, the Sixers turned up the defensive pressure and held the Knicks to 5 of 24 from the field, outscoring the home team 26-15 in that final stanza.

Collins has not had much to smile about, so far in the early part of the season but he was pleased by the contributions from his bench.

“We had so many guys play well,” he said. “Tony Battie came in and stabilized our defense, Jodie Meeks came in and gave us a huge shot in the arm. We played without Andre Iguodala for some stretches this year, and our guys have gotten in there and played well. That’s encouraging. All of a sudden, a man can’t play – Andre’s a U.S. Olympian, but Meeks and Lou Williams stepped in and gave us good minutes.”

Elton Brand is the one veteran on the Sixers who has an All-Star pedigree.

“We can’t look into the past,” he said. “But, we’ve been playing so much better of late, better than our record indicates. To come from behind and finish the game like that feels great. This team has a lot of weapons and they’ve been playing very well, so for us to win this game on the road is huge. I’m so proud of this win, it’s definitely a confidence booster.”

Like the Knicks, the Sixers put a lot of hope into their core of youngsters. Their backcourt combination of Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner are young, fast, athletic, and very difficult to guard. Today, they completely outplayed the Knicks starting guards, Raymond Felton and Landry Fields, outscoring them 33 to 15. Turner, the Sixers number one draft pick this year, scored 14 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 3 assists and appears to be making the adjustment to the NBA.

“It was very disappointing,” said Felton. “Tough game, early game but no excuses. They wanted it more than we did. They played with more energy. The better team won today.”

Stoudemire also recognized the loss as a tough one to drop.

“Definitely not fun to lost to Philly,” he said. “We know we are a much better team than we showed today. We have to give a better effort next game.”

Stoudemire’s follow shot gave the Knicks their last lead at 94-93 before the Sixers ran off nine in a row. Tony Battie made a jumper, Holiday nailed a 3-pointer, then Turner stole Stoudemire’s pass for a layup and a 100-94 advantage. Holiday capped the decisive burst with two free throws.

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