PHILADELPHIA — The Knicks traveled to the City of Brotherly Love to get beaten by Long Island.
The Knicks turned Tobias Harris into Michael Jordan on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center. The pride of Commack stepped up for the 76ers after the injury absences of stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Harris, a graduate of Half Hollow Hills West, destroyed the Knicks for 23 points in the first half on 10-for-12 shooting. He wound up with 34 points as the depleted Sixers posted a 115-106 triumph at Wells Fargo Arena.
Harris hit his first four buckets and had outscored the Knicks, 12-8, after four minutes had elapsed. Harris drained a game-sealing 3-pointer with 1:52 left in the fourth quarter and the Knicks within five. Harris finished 14 of 21 from the field.
The Knicks clinched their seventh straight losing season, falling to 17-42 with their sixth consecutive defeat. Mike Miller’s interim record is now 13-26 and he has beaten just two teams that have a winning record.
To boot, the Knicks lost point guard Dennis Smith Jr. in the second quarter with a possible concussion after he got elbowed in the head.
RJ Barrett was forced into some point-guard duty in the second half after Smith’s injury. Barrett finished with 15 points and five assists.
The Knicks were kept from getting blown out by potent play from Julius Randle (30 points, 11-of-18) and Moe Harkless.
After going scoreless in the first half, Harkless, the newcomer from the Clippers, heated up in the third quarter, scoring 15 of his 17 points. Harkless hit 5-of-7 from 3, but the Queens native missed two big free throws with 3:23 left and the Knicks down seven.
The Sixers, who are in a bind with the potential long-term absences of their two key cogs, got well for one night against the laughingstock Knicks. They even became the butt of a joke by presidential candidate and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg during a campaign stop in Oklahoma City.
Bloomberg told Sooners fans, whose squad had just lost to Oklahoma State, “At least you’re not New York Knicks fans. The Knicks are in worse shape than I-35.”