The New York Knicks (18-15) play on Christmas Day for the second consecutive season, this time taking on the Philadelphia 76ers (19-12). However, this time the Knicks will be playing with a chip on their shoulder.
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The Knicks will be looking for a Christmas miracle against Philadelphia:
After winning eight consecutive games, their second-highest win streak since 2014, the Knicks have lost their last two games, both of which were down-to-the-wire thrillers that were closed out in the final minute. Meanwhile, the 76ers are rolling right now, as they have won seven consecutive games and have improved to 19-12 after their slow start to the season.
The Knicks and 76ers have already met once this season when New York traveled to Philadelphia and walked out with a 106-104 victory – albeit with the absence of 76ers stars James Harden and Joel Embiid – thanks to some clutch 3-point shooting from Obi Toppin.
This time, Harden and Embiid will be on the floor, but likely not young 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey, so the Knicks will be up for the task as they will be facing one of the best duos in the NBA.
The Knicks will be heavily relying on their stars to end their short homestand with a win, as they will look for RJ Barrett and Julius Randle to continue their stellar play against Philadelphia. Barrett is coming off his best game of the season, scoring a season-high 44 points and shooting 14/20 from the field and 6/6 from 3.
Randle also played well in the Knicks’ last game, as he scored 29 points on 11/22 shooting and 5/10 from 3, as well as securing 12 rebounds despite losing to the Chicago Bulls on a DeMar DeRozan game-winning mid-range jumper.
The key for the Knicks to claim a holiday victory will be to get some big performances out of their star players and defend Philadelphia’s stars well. Nevertheless, this game should be an exciting start to the NBA’s Christmas Day lineup, as it is between two highly competitive Eastern Conference teams and full of star talent.
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