Willie Green scored 18 points, and the 76ers completed a home-and-home sweep of the Knicks with a 105-77 victory Saturday night.
Andre Iguodala added 17 points and Reggie Evans had 14 rebounds for the 76ers, who beat the Knicks 101-90 Friday in Philadelphia. This one was even easier, giving them consecutive victories for the first time this season. The Sixers passed the Knicks to escape last place in the Atlantic Division and have won the last four meetings in the series.
“Right now we’re upbeat,” Sixers guard Louis Williams said.
Nate Robinson, who didn’t even play in the first half, scored 25 points for the Knicks, who trailed by as much as 28 during a performance that ranked somewhere between careless and simply not caring. They gave up a number of dunks, usually after a turnover, and were frequently booed.
“I was searching tonight,” Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. “I went one through 12 just trying to find any combination that would work, any person that had some type of energy or fire. And there was nothing there tonight.”
It was another miserable night at Madison Square Garden, where the home team resorted to playing music a few times to drown out fans’ cries to fire Thomas. Thomas’ interior tandem of Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph combined for just eight points, six by Curry, and only six shots.
“Tonight was definitely a tough game,” Curry said. “Two in a row, back-to-back with Philly. It’s been a while since I felt like this.”
New York’s David Lee was called for a flagrant foul 1 when he knocked Williams to the ground on a drive to the basket in the third quarter. Williams landed hard on his shoulder and head, but stayed in the game a little longer before leaving for good. He said he felt a little dizzy.
“We were just executing. I don’t want to say we were playing harder than them, we were just playing hard,” Evans said. “I can’t really speak for them, I don’t really know their team like that to know if they’re playing hard or not. But I can really say we were out there playing hard. Everybody who had a Sixers uniform gave an A-plus out there and it really showed.”
Stephon Marbury had six points in his first game back at Madison Square Garden since his father’s death. No Knicks starter was in double figures.
Marbury’s father was taken from MSG to a hospital at halftime of the Knicks’ loss to Phoenix last Sunday and died before the game ended. Stephon Marbury missed Wednesday’s victory at New Jersey and returned in Friday’s game, the day after the funeral, managing two points in 13 minutes.
“I think it’s going to be emotional with him, particularly tonight and I think for a while,” Thomas said before the game. “When you lose a parent in the way that he lost him, you don’t get over that in a day or two. Sometimes it takes years for people to go through that process.”
There was a moment of silence for Don Marbury before the game, and Stephon Marbury was cheered during player introductions for the first time since he left the team and skipped a game in Phoenix last month.
Marbury didn’t speak to reporters after the game.
The Knicks played with little energy at the start, quickly falling behind by double digits. They cut the lead to 24-19 after one quarter and took the lead early in the second, but committed six turnovers and had only five baskets in the period, and Philadelphia regained control to take a 49-37 halftime lead.
New York’s sloppy play returned in the third quarter, allowing the Sixers to push the lead to 20. The “Fire Isiah!” chants started during one sloppy stretch of the period, which the MSG staff responded to by playing some music over the sound system to drown out the fans’ voices.
Philadelphia led 75-57 after three, and Korver hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 12-3 run to open the fourth that gave the 76ers an 87-60 bulge.
“It’s nice to get a win, back-to-back especially,” Iguodala said. “I don’t think the Knicks played their best basketball. We still have room for improvement but we will take these two and keep moving.”
Lee finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The game began a stretch where the Knicks play six of seven at home. Dallas and Seattle visit next week, and after a game in Chicago, the Knicks return home to host New Jersey, Indiana and Cleveland. … Jamal Crawford appeared to hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have cut the Sixers’ halftime lead to 49-40. But while reviewing the monitor to see if the shot was released in time, the referees noticed Crawford was out of bounds, so the basket was disallowed and 0.2 seconds were put back on the clock.