PHILADELPHIA (AP)Obi Toppin hit a 3-pointer and Jalen Brunson finished off a three-point play seconds later as the New York Knicks rallied from 12 points down to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 106-104 on Friday night.
Brunson finished with 23 points to lead the Knicks. R.J. Barrett scored 22, while Toppin had 13 of his 17 in the fourth quarter as the Knicks snapped a three-game skid. Julius Randle had 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, Cam Reddish scored 11 points and Isaiah Hertenstein added eight points and 10 rebounds in extended minutes at center off the bench.
”It all starts with playing good defense,” Brunson said. ”Then from there we just had really good movement with the ball and were able to penetrate and get some looks. We needed everyone to do their job and they did.”
Toppin was a key figure in the fourth for the Knicks, shooting 5 for 7 – including three 3s.
”The way Obi has been shooting the 3 … that’s a big plus,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau said. ”We talked about getting him into that (offensive) rotation if the opportunity presented itself, and tonight it did.”
Tyrese Maxey scored 31 points, Tobias Harris had 23 and Montrezl Harrell added 14 for Philadelphia, which has lost two straight. The 76ers shot 13 for 47 on 3s.
Maxey missed a 3-pointer that would have given the 76ers the lead with 29 seconds to go. De’Anthony Melton also missed a 3 with 1.2 seconds left.
Philadelphia gave up a double digit lead in the fourth quarter by being outscored 16-5 in a span of 5:30.
”They went small and they started switching everything,” Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said. ”We stopped attacking. We stopped trusting.”
The Knicks started slowly and struggled with turnovers (17) through the first three quarters, but they shot 10 for 18 in the fourth with only four turnovers.
Maxey scored 10 consecutive points in a span of 1:46 in the third quarter to help the 76ers build their lead.
76ers: After a sluggish start to the season, Rivers now has to try to get his team on track without his two biggest stars – G James Harden and C Joel Embiid. Harden, the team’s leading scorer, will miss approximately one month with a right foot strain and Embiid missed his third consecutive game with a ”non-Covid-related illness.” Rivers said earlier in the week that Embiid had the flu. … F Danuel House Jr. also missed the game with a non-Covid-related illness. … G De’Anthony Melton replaced Harden in the starting lineup and Harrell again filled in for Embiid.
Knicks: Two days after insisting he wasn’t ready to make any lineup changes after a bad loss to Atlanta, Thibodeau plugged in second-year G Quentin Grimes in place of veteran G Evan Fournier against the 76ers. The two ended up splitting time as Grimes played 15:01 and Fournier 14:23. … F Mitchell Robinson left the game in the second quarter in some discomfort and did not return. Thibodeau had no update on his injury after the game and said they would have more information Saturday.
PLAYINT IT SAFE
Embiid has dealt with more than this illness to start the season. His conditioning has not been up to par and that stemmed from a bout with plantar fasciitis that he endured over the summer. But even with Harden out, the 76ers won’t rush Embiid back.
”We’re playing the long game with Joel,” Rivers said.
Embiid will use the next two days to start to build up his breathing after his nasty flu. Philadelphia will then get him back on the court, but not the big minutes he’s used to playing right away.
Knicks : Host Boston on Saturday night.
76ers: Host Phoenix on Monday night.