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Sixers sink Knicks on McConnell's shot at buzzer

Keith Pompey, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Basketball

PHILADELPHIA -- This one had to be pleasing.

The New York Knicks had been a thorn in the 76ers' side for the last few seasons. No matter how hard the Sixers played in recent meetings, they just couldn't beat their Atlantic Division rival.

That changed Wednesday night, as T.J. McConnell hit a buzzer-beating, 12-foot baseline jumper to give the Sixers a 98-97 victory at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers (11-25) had lost five straight series meetings since beating the Knicks on March 20, 2015.

But the Sixers have been on a roll this season. This victory marked their fourth win in five games. Meanwhile, the Knicks (17-22) are a struggling ball club. They have lost three straight and nine of their last 10 games.

It appeared that New York was on its way to a much-needed victory. They held a 93-83 lead with 2 minutes, 29 seconds remaining.

The Sixers pulled within one point (95-94) on Joel Embiid's layup with 51.8 seconds left. However, Derrick Rose put the Knicks back up by three on a layup with 34.5 ticks remaining.

Gerald Henderson hit a pair of free throws on the Sixers' ensuing possession to make a 97-96 game at the 27.8-second mark. But Kristaps Porzingis missed a 3-pointer when the Knicks got the ball. Henderson grabbed the rebound and raced up the court, setting up McConnell's game-winner.

The point guard finished with eight points, a game-high seven assists and two steals. Embiid paced the Sixers with 21 points, 14 rebounds and one block.

Knicks swingman Carmelo Anthony finished with a game-high 28 points. Rose added 25 points and four assists.

Rose sure wasn't AWOL on Wednesday night. The Knicks point guard scored 12 of his points on 6-for-7 shooting in the first quarter.

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