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76ers work hard in crunch time to down Knicks

Wilson Chandler #22 of the Philadelphia 76ers draws

Wilson Chandler #22 of the Philadelphia 76ers draws a foul against Kevin Knox #20 of the Knicks during the second half at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

When it came down to crunch time Sunday, Philadelphia certainly didn’t look soft.

Two days after the 76ers’ Ben Simmons called his team “too soft” for the second time this season, Philadelphia was able to escape disaster and win for the first time in three games.

The 108-105 victory over the tailspinning Knicks couldn’t have come at a better time for the 76ers, who are one of the most talented teams in the Eastern Conference but are having some chemistry problems.

Before the game, coach Brett Brown again found himself talking about Simmons calling the team soft after its loss to Atlanta on Friday.

“I think if you look at our record, you will realize the sky’s not falling,” Brown said of his team, which at 28-16 has the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference.

“There are issues you can talk about with defense, with depth, with coexisting with a team sort of ecosystem. All of those are true. It’s not anything, in my opinion, that warrants panic. It’s all a part of growing a team.”

Flu-burger

David Fizdale tried to put an end to cheeseburger-gate before Sunday’s game. Enes Kanter was out because of illness, but Fizdale said he doesn’t think the illness is related to his reported “cheat-day” meal of multiple hamburgers. “The eating thing is, I think that’s just him messing with y’all,” Fizdale said. “He really has some flu-like symptoms. It’s been kicking his butt.”

Knicks record

Kevin Knox, who scored 31 against the 76ers, is the youngest Knick to score 30 or more points in a game. The previous record was held by Carl Braun, who was 21 when he scored 30 points in a game against the Washington Capitols during the 1948-49 season.

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