Philadelphia’s quest to make the postseason took another hit with Thursday’s 88-82 loss to Portland. The Sixers are three games behind the Knicks and Boston Celtics, who are tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Sixers, who will be without injured All-Star guard Allen Iverson for the rest of the regular season, got a career-high 22 points from rookie Willie Green. Green has been getting significant playing time during Iverson’s absence.
“They were just giving me the ball and I was trying to make plays, trying to make something happen,” Green said. “My confidence is just rising and rising right now.”
The Sixers are 13-15 this season without Iverson—the NBA’s second-leading scorer with 26.4 points per game.
The Knicks are trying to hang on to their own playoff spot. They didn’t play like a desperate team Friday night, however, dropping a 108-83 decision at New Jersey despite the Nets playing without All-Stars Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin.
“We came over here and we didn’t have the intensity that we needed,” said Knicks guard Penny Hardaway, who had 14 points for New York. “They beat us up pretty bad.”
Houston, averaging 18.5 points in 50 games this season, has missed seven of the Knicks’ last eight games, playing just eight minutes a week ago against Toronto.