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May 3, 2024 12:06 am

Knicks hold off 76ers for series-clinching win

Knicks, 76ers

Jalen Brunson poured in a game-high 41 points, Josh Hart broke a late tie with a 3-pointer and the New York Knicks eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers from the NBA playoffs with a 118-115 victory in Game 6 of their best-of-seven series on Thursday.

By virtue of their 4-2 win, the second-seeded Knicks will move on to face the sixth-seeded Indiana Pacers in a Eastern Conference best-of-seven semifinal series. Game 1 is set for Monday in New York.

Seeking a second win in three visits to Philadelphia during the series, the Knicks led 107-99 with 3:26 to play before the desperate 76ers rallied into a 111-all tie on a three-point play by Tyrese Maxey that included a goal-tending call on Isaiah Hartenstein with 34.9 seconds to go.

The Knicks then went to Brunson, who drew the defense and found Hart open for a straightaway 3-pointer that put the visitors ahead for good at 114-111 with 25.6 seconds left.

Donte DiVincenzo and Brunson capped the victory by sinking two free throws each, Brunson’s successes coming with 7.7 seconds remaining and leaving the 76ers only an opportunity for a Buddy Hield buzzer-beating heave that hit only the backboard.

Brunson shot 13-for-27 from the field and 12-for-16 at the free-throw line. It was his third straight 40-plus-point effort, and he added a game-high 12 assists.

Hart finished with 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while DiVincenzo totaled 23 points, OG Anunoby 19 and Hartenstein 14.

Joel Embiid paced the 76ers with 39 points and a team-high 13 rebounds before fouling out in the final seconds. He made 12 of his 25 shots and all 13 of his free-throw attempts.

Hield buried six 3-pointers on a 20-point night off the bench, while Maxey, who had a team-high five assists, and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 17 points apiece. Nicolas Batum scored 16 points.

Down by 22 points less than 10 minutes into the game, the 76ers turned the tables in the second quarter to pull ahead 54-51 by halftime.

Former Sacramento Kings teammates DiVincenzo and Hield played big roles in each team’s run. DiVincenzo hit three 3-pointers in New York’s 33-11 opening flurry before Hield responded by nailing five threes and putting up 17 points in Philadelphia’s 32-15, second-quarter comeback.

A tight fourth quarter featured three lead changes and four ties, the last one at 111-all.

–Field Level Media

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