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New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers Final Score: Joel Embiid leads Philly to their first win in the series

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After an all-time finish at the end of Game 2 of this series, Game 3 between the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers continued to live up to the hype of this I-95 match-up. New York made it a point to come out strong in this one, and as a result it was the first time through the first 3 games that New York won the first quarter for the first time this series and held a lead at halftime. The game completely flipped on its head though in the 3rd quarter, where Philadelphia caught fire that quarter and seemingly countered every Knicks 2-point basket with a 3-ball. Philadelphia went 9/12 from 3 in the period and scored 42 points total in the 3rd behind the duo of Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. That blitzkrieg in the 3rd allowed Philadelphia to turn a 3-point halftime deficit into a 13 point lead going into the 4th. The Knicks, led by 39 points from Jalen Brunson, hung around throughout the final frame but were never able to get within 5 again.

Observations

  • Things were physical and chippy right out of the gate between these two teams. Philadelphia was called for two Flagrant 1 fouls in the first quarter, one on Kyle Lowry and one on Joel Embiid. It could have been argued that Embiid got away with another flagrant foul when he kneed Isiah Hartenstein in the groin just a few plays before picking up the flagrant he got tagged with.
  • Embiid might be banged up and he definitely hasn’t moved all that great in this series, but he was spectacular tonight. Even with a bum knee, the big fella can just flat-out shoot the basketball. His 50 points, the most he’s ever scored in a playoff game, largely came from out on the perimeter. Embiid went 13/19 from the field, including 5/7 from 3 and 19/21 from the free throw line. His 19 makes from the charity stripe were as many as the Knicks took as a team.
  • Jalen Brunson was shooting just 29% through the first two games of this series. Philadelphia has clearly made it a point that Brunson will get nothing easy this series, but something finally clicked in the first half for him in this one. He paced New York in the first half with 17 points on 7/15 shooting, including 3/4 from beyond the arc. He kept it going with 13 in the 3rd quarter and finished the game with 39 points on 13/27 shooting, his best showing so far in this series. The Knicks will need to see more of this from Brunson going forward if they’re going to get past Embiid and the 76ers.
  • Tyrese Maxey was just as big in that 3rd quarter run for Philly as Embiid was. Maxey had a slow start to this one, but finished with 25 points and 7 assists.
  • That third quarter was an insane shooting display from Philadelphia. Those highlights are must-see once they’re posted somewhere before the end of the night.
  • Donte DiVincenzo had this vicious slam off a back door cut late in the 2nd quarter that had me up off my seat.
  • Tobias Harris, who was averaging just 8.5 points in the first two games against the Knicks, drew boos from the Philly crowd midway through the 2nd quarter after missing a couple looks inside. No fans quite like those in the City of Brotherly Love! Harris finished with 8 points.

The series resumes for Game 4 in Philly Sunday night at noon central time on ABC.

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