Joel Embiid scored a game-high 27 points and converted a go-ahead traditional three-point play to highlight a game-turning, 14-point second-quarter run Saturday night as the visiting Philadelphia 76ers beat the New York Knicks, 109-89.
Embiid started the 14-0 run with a free throw and scored six points during the surge, which came immediately after the Knicks mounted a 9-0 run to match their biggest lead at 45-40.
Embiid also had 10 rebounds as the 76ers won their second straight to open the season. Seth Curry and Tobias Harris each scored 17 points while Ben Simmons added 15 points and nine rebounds.
Julius Randle scored 25 points for the Knicks, who have lost their first two games of the season, Alec Burks scored 22 points off the bench while Mitchell Robinson (11 points, nine rebounds) just missed a double-double. RJ Barrett scored 10 points.
Each team led by as many as five points in the first quarter, which ended 27-27. The 76ers led 40-36 when the Knicks enjoyed their most sustained run over a 79-second stretch in which Burks drained two free throws, Randle tied the score on a dunk and Kevin Knox II sank a go-ahead 3-pointer before Robinson’s fast-break dunk.
But the Knicks missed all six of their shots and committed two turnovers during the 76ers’ 14-0 surge, which included a 3-pointer by Green, a putback dunk by Simmons and a 3-pointer by Curry that ended the run.
The Knicks scored 10 of the final 16 points of the half to pull within 60-55 before cutting the gap to 62-59 on a dunk by Robinson 1:30 into the third quarter. The 76ers responded with a 16-3 run and took their first double-digit lead on a putback by Embiid with 8:08 left. Green’s 3-pointer with 5:10 left ended the run.
The Knicks got the deficit to nine points on a layup by Randle with 6:48 to go, but Embiid answered with a 3-pointer and Philadelphia led by at least 11 the rest of the way and took its biggest lead with its final basket, a 3-pointer by Mike Scott.