"People will look at the numbers, and they're great, but I see an emerging leader."
-Sixers coach Brett Brown
Michael Carter-Williams posted his second career triple-double, but the Sixers couldn't keep up with the Knicks in the fourth quarter, falling by a score of 123-110. Carter-Williams is now the eighth player this season to have multiple triple-doubles.
The Sixers and Knicks were tied at halftime and New York led by just six after three. A 19-4 run to start the final quarter helped the Knicks to their fourth straight win and sent the Sixers to their 17th straight loss. The Sixers, who have not won game since the end of January, are very close to their franchise-longest losing streak of 20, set by the 1972-73 team. The NBA's longest losing streak is 26, set in 2010-11 by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Sixers came out in the first quarter shooting well, taking the Knicks by surprise. After a Thaddeus Young jumper made it 8-3 early, the Knicks climbed back with an 8-0 run of their own to take an 11-8 lead. Thanks to a run that included seven points from Thaddeus Young, the Sixers took a 24-15 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the first. After a JR Smith three-pointer cut the Sixers lead to six, the teams went scoreless for a minute and 50 seconds. Tim Hardaway Jr. hit a three ball to reduce the lead to three but two Tony Wroten free throws ended the quarter with the Sixers on top, 31-26. Halfway through the first quarter the Sixers were shooting nearly 67% from the floor. They ended at 52.2%.
The Knicks climbed to within five with 10:05 left in the second, but the Sixers pulled away for a little bit. Tony Wroten was fouled on a made shot to make it 38-31. An Elliot Williams layup put the Sixers up 41-33 before the Knicks came storming back. With just under eight minutes to go, the Knicks put together a 7-0 run to cut the Sixers lead to two at 42-40. With 4:55 left in the second, Carmelo Anthony hit a jumper to tie things up at 44 a piece. The Knicks took their first lead of the game, 47-45 after an Amar'e Stoudemire three-point play but James Anderson came back with a basket of his own to tie things back up at 47. A Raymond Felton three pointer put the Knicks up five, 55-50, with 2:52 remaining buy the Sixers kept fighting. Henry Sims hit a shot that brought them to within one at 59-58. MCW hit a free throw to tie things at 59. After a Knicks basket put them ahead by two the Sixers called timeout with 13.2 to go in the second. Out of the timeout, Hollis Thompson hit a cutting Henry Sims at the basket for a slam to end the half all tied up, 61-61.
After one half, Henry Sims looked impressive on offense and defense. He went into the locker rooms with 10 points. Meanwhile James Anderson and Amar'e Stoudemire led all scorers with 14 a piece. After a game in which he struggled mightily against Utah, Michael Carter-Williams put together a great half with 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
The Knicks opened up a seven point lead, 74-67 with just under seven minutes to go in the third, but the Sixers answered, like they have all night. An Arnett Moultrie jumper and a James Anderson three-pointer put the Sixers ahead 75-74 with 5:20 to go in the third. Unfortunately, Carmelo Anthony, who was 4-for-15 at one point, hit four straight shots to help the Knicks extend their lead to eight with 1:42 to go. With the Sixers trailing 91-83, Tony Wroten's last second free throws cut the Knicks lead to 91-85 at the end of three quarters.
Costly turnovers and hot shooting from the Knicks put the Sixers away in the fourth. A JR Smith three-pointer put the Knicks up 104-87 with just under nine minutes to go. The Knicks began the final quarter on a 19-4 run. With 5:45 to go, the Knicks put in their backups, eventually sealing the Sixers fate, but with 2.2 seconds to go, MCW threw a cross-court pass to James Anderson, who layed it in for two, securing the triple-double for the Sixers rookie.
Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten led the Sixers with 23 points each. MCW added 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double this season, but his first in four quarters. His previous triple-double came on December 3rd against the Magic, when he dropped 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the Sixers double-overtime victory. Thaddeus Young finished the night with 18 points and nine rebounds while James Anderson finished with 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting.
The Knicks were led by Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 28 points off of the bench. He was 9-for-13 from the floor and 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. Amar'e Stoudemire finished with 23 while JR Smith and Carmelo added 22 each. Anthony also grabbed nine rebounds.
Looking Ahead: The Sixers return home to the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night to host the Sacramento Kings at 7PM. Sacramento plays in Detroit tomorrow night before coming to Philadelphia. The Sixers picked up a 113-104 win over the Kings on January 2nd.
On Friday, the Sixers welcome the Pacers to town as Evan Turner will return to Philadelphia just a few weeks after being dealt at the trade deadline.
Brandon Apter is a writer for Sixerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @ApterShock.