76ers play Knicks tough in devastating double overtime loss

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Remember the team that lost 18 straight games to start the season and 30 of their first 31?

The 76ers don’t.

After taking the Bulls to the brink in overtime anddemolishing the Trailblazers by 25 points, the 76erslooked like a revitalized and mature basketball team Monday afternoon. But after taking the Knicks to the brink in second overtime, the squad ran out of gas faltering 119-113.

With the setback, Philly is 4-and-7 in its last 11 games, butthis includes hard-fought losses with good showings at home against the Cavaliers, Raptors and Hawks.

Philly found itself behind by six with less than a minute to go in the second extra frame and was unable to locate its offense, as the Knicks were able to hit the necessary foul shots to ice the team’s21stvictory.

Toward the end of regulation trailing by two, Hollis Thompson missed three free throws with 1:23 left, shots that could have given the Sixers a lead or tied the game.

A block by Noel,his third, on the other end gave Thompson a chance at redemption as he hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to put Philly ahead after the squad trailed by as many as 18 points earlier in the game.

After anotherstop on D, Ish Smith (16 points and a career-high16 assists)hit a jumper to put the 76ers up by three points with 13.6 seconds remaining but Carmelo Anthony (19 points) drilled a contested three to tie the game at 96-all.

Heading into overtime the Sixers opened a three-point lead with 1:11 to go after a dynamic Ish Smith-to-Nerlens Noel alley oop. But a missed layup allowed Aaron Afflalo to hit a clutch jumper to put New York up 105-104 with 40 seconds to go.

The team committed its first turnover on its next possession since the third quarter, leading to Knicks free throws and a three-point New York advantage with 20 seconds to go. Robert Covington banked in a three to tie it at 107-all giving the Knicks one last chance, but after a Carmelo Anthony jump shot hit iron the teams prepared for five more minutes.

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