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Knicks’ Supporting Cast Lands Credit From Sixers Coach After Game 4

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Sunday’s matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks managed to be a game of two halves, with each side getting a chance to dominate the paint in one fashion or another.

For the Sixers, they, would come out of the gates scorching hot, outscoring New York by ten points, thanks in large part to reigning MVP Joel Embiid and veteran forward Tobias Harris, with the partnership combining for 16 points in the first quarter.

Their dominance would continue into the second quarter, with the recently named Most Improved Player of the Year, Tyrese Maxey, managing to find the bottom of the net, dropping ten points en route to a two-point Sixers lead heading into halftime.

While Philadelphia dominated in the first half, New York took the wheel in the second half, outscoring the hosts 50-43, but their success from the field wasn’t the only part that led to their win.

In the closing two quarters, the Knicks outrebounded the Sixers 27-16, with ten of them coming on the offensive end which would allow Tom Thibodeau’s side to create six more chances than Nick Nurse’s side.

Their mastery on the glass came despite starting center Isaiah Hartenstein exiting the match prematurely as a precautionary measure given his foul trouble in the third quarter. OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Josh Hart would do a bulk of the rebounding for New York, with the trio recording 20 boards in the second half alone.

This is something that Nurse noted following the game, stating that the Knicks’ rotation options proved to be an important element in game four.

“I thought OG and Precious and those guys were really a factor, they were both very energetic, very athletic, getting their hands on some balls,” explained Nurse, “Hart, you know, obviously got his share, but Precious came in there and got four and probably got his hands on two or three more.”

New York’s rebounding masterclass shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given that they recorded the fifth-highest average boards per game during the regular season while leading the NBA with 13 offensive rebounds per game.

Looking back at the regular season, defensive rebounding was a critical weakness of the Sixers, only averaging 31 rebounds on the defensive end, with the team being at the bottom of the rankings during the month of January.

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