Walker scores 19, Knicks stop 15-game losing streak to 76ers with comfortable win
NEW YORK — Kemba Walker scored 19 points in his best game with his hometown team and the New York Knicks snapped a 15-game losing streak against the Philadelphia 76ers with a 112-99 victory Tuesday night.
Evan Fournier added 18 points in the Knicks’ first victory over Philadelphia since April 12, 2017. Julius Randle had 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
Joel Embiid didn’t have a field goal in the first half of his career loss to the Knicks, who seized control by outscoring Philadelphia 39-16 in the second quarter.
Tobias Harris scored 23 points for the 76ers. Embiid finished with 14 points and six rebounds, shooting just 2 for 7. He had been 12-0 in games he played against New York.
A couple “Where’s Ben Simmons? Where’s Ben Simmons?” chants broke out at Madison Square Garden and the Sixers certainly missed their All-Star guard’s defense on the perimeter against a Knicks team that upgraded offensively with the additions of Walker and Fournier.
The Sixers led 26-23 after one before the Knicks sped into the lead behind some energetic plays from their second unit to open a 47-36 lead.
Embiid then hit a pair of free throws before Walker, scoreless at that point, made a 3-pointer with 4:06 remaining, to get himself started and start the Knicks on a 15-4 run to end the half. He had another 3 and two more baskets before the Knicks took a 62-42 lead to the break.
Embiid was 0 for 5 in the half.
Walker hadn’t scored more than 11 points in any game and had sat down the stretch of the Knicks’ two close ones while Derrick Rose played. He scored nine more in the third on three 3-pointers and the Knicks led by as much as 27.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said C Nerlens Noel, who hasn’t played this season because of knee and hamstring injuries, is “real close” to being ready. He said the hamstring is fine now and the knee soreness is much improved.