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Carmelo Anthony returns as New York Knicks drop Philadelphia 76ers in double OT

By Everett Merrill, The Sports Xchange   |   Jan. 19, 2016 at 12:37 AM
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NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks relied on their free-throw shooting and the return of their star forward in turning back the Philadelphia 76ers 119-113 in double overtime Monday at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks (21-22) were 25-of-30 from the line, including 9 of 11 in the two overtimes. The 76ers (5-38) made just 13 of their 25 shots from the stripe and were 2 of 4 in the two extra sessions.

Carmelo Anthony gave the Knicks a boost after a two-game absence with a sprained ankle. Playing a season-high 49 minutes, he delivered 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out seven assists. His 3-pointer from the top of the key with three seconds left in regulation sent the game into overtime.

"I thought early on he (Anthony) was moving well, but the timing and rhythm was a little bit off," Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. "As the game went on, I thought fatigue set in. He didn't have his legs.

"He got guys involved early on with the pass. Overall, he did what he needed to do to help us win today even though he wasn't 100 percent."

Anthony was 7 of 28 from the floor.

"I wasn't able to shoot with balance and push off," Anthony said. "Things I am normally capable of doing I wasn't able to do."

The 76ers never led in the second overtime. With the score tied at 109-109 the Knicks went on a brief 6-2 run to move ahead 115-111.

Guard Arron Afflalo topped the Knicks with 25 points. New York rookie forward Kristaps Porzingis recorded his 16th double-double, scoring 16 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. He left the game with a sore right foot late in the fourth quarter and didn't return.

"If the doctors made a decision for me to play I would have played," Porzingis said. "There is one spot that bothers me, but I am fine, I expect to be back Wednesday (against Utah)."

Rookie forward Jahlil Okafor led Philadelphia with 20 points despite sitting out the fourth quarter and both overtimes. Forward Nerlens Noel scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and guard Ish Smith added 16 points and 16 assists.

Noel and Smith helped bring back the 76ers from an 18-point deficit early in the third quarter.

"My teammates had it rolling," Okafor said about being on the bench. "They were playing phenomenal. I was ready. I was staying ready, but if guys are rolling, then I support them on the bench."

Philadelphia forward Robert Covington nailed a 3-pointer to tie it at 107-107 with seven seconds left in the first OT.

The Knicks re-took the lead 105-104 on a baseline jumper from Afflalo with 39 seconds left in overtime and forward Lance Thomas hit two free throws to move the Knicks lead to 107-104 with 20 seconds to play.

Smith's layup with 3:30 left in overtime put the 76ers ahead 100-96 and a reverse layup with 1:53 to go moved the Philadelphia lead to 103-99.

"We fought back," Smith said. "I thought Jahlil (Okafor) was great early and Nerlens (Noel) was great late, but we didn't close it out."

Guard Hollis Thompson missed three free throws with the Knicks ahead 93-91 with 1:23 but redeemed himself 31 seconds later with a 3-pointer to give the 76ers a 94-93 edge with 52 seconds remaining.

Guard Isaiah Canaan's two free throws for Philadelphia tied it at 88-88 with 4:00 to go and a dunk from Noel gave the 76ers a 90-88 lead on its next possession. Noel tied at 91-91 with a free throw after a 3-pointer from Afflalo gave the Knicks a 91-90 edge with 2:47 to play.

With 1:13 left in the third, the Knicks held their biggest lead of the game at 76-58, but Philadelphia used a 17-4 run to start the fourth quarter, enabling it to get to within 80-79. Thompson drilled two 3-pointers in the sequence.

The Knicks pulled ahead 76-63 in the third quarter thanks to an 11-4 run in the middle of the quarter. Porzingis contributed five points in the run. Philadelphia committed seven turnovers in the third and made just 6 of 19 shots from the floor.

There were four lead changes and the score was tied on seven occasions in the second quarter before the Knicks broke a 45-45 deadlock with a 7-2 run that closed the quarter and gave them a 52-47 cushion. Guard Jose Calderon scored five points on a 3-pointer and two free throws in the burst.

Okafor poured in 12 points and Porzingis tossed in seven points and snared seven rebounds in the 29-29 first quarter.

NOTES: New York is 20-10 on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. ... The Knicks have hosted a game at Madison Square Garden on MLK Day every year since 1987. ... This is the third time the Knicks and 76ers have met on MLK Day. ... Philadelphia is 0-25 against the Eastern Conference this season and has lost five straight and 9-of-11 at Madison Square Garden. ... The Knicks are 0-4 without F Carmelo Anthony in the lineup. ... The 76ers were without G Nik Stauskas (contusion left shoulder), C Joel Embiid (injured right foot) and F Elton Brand (inactive). ... C Kevin Seraphin (bruised right rib) did not dress for the Knicks. ... Philadelphia employed its 23rd different starting lineup in 43 games. The Knicks have used just four starting lineups. ... Four of Philadelphia's five wins have come since it acquired the G Ish Smith from New Orleans on Dec. 24.

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