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After Knicks take 2-0 series lead, Joel Embiid says Sixers are ‘gonna win this’

With 7:43 to play in the fourth quarter, Deuce McBride completed an old-fashioned three-point play to put the Knicks up 90-82. And after another rough first quarter that saw them trail the visiting Philadelphia 76ers by seven on Monday night, New York appeared to be on the verge of surviving another off night by Jalen Brunson to grab a 2-0 series lead.

And, in the end, that is exactly what happened. Except, it almost didn’t.

As Joel Embiid, hobbled on his still-not-fully-healthy left knee, and Tyrese Maxey, fighting off an illness that left his game status up in the air, the Sixers put together a 19-6 run over the next 7:15 seconds of game time to grab a five-point lead with less than 60 seconds to play.

But a pair of threes, first from the previously ice-cold Brunson and then from Donte DiVincenzo in a 15-second span gave the Knicks a Game 2 win and that 2-0 series lead to take with them when the series reaches Philly on Thursday night.

And it is there, that Embiid – who scored 34 points on 12-for-29 shooting with 10 rebounds and six assists– believes the series will take a turn.

“We should be 2-0, so, you know, we’re good,” Embiid said seated in his locker in the visitor’s dressing room with his head down and face obscured.

“We're gonna win this series. We're gonna win this. We know what we've got to fix. We did a better job today, so we're gonna fix it,” the reigning MVP said. “But we're the better team and we're gonna keep fighting."

On that wild inbound sequence that saw Josh Hart grab a steal and led to DiVincenzo missing and then making the go-ahead three, Embiid said “Everybody on the floor was trying to call a timeout, myself included” but the referees missed it.

“But, you know, forget about the timeout, there’s a bunch of fouls,” he said about the final play. “Like I said, that’s f---ing unacceptable."

Embiid said he “hates to put the game” on the referees, but expects the league's Last 2 Minute Report will reveal missed calls.

And the center isn’t the only one frustrated with the referees as ESPN is reporting the team is planning on filing a grievance with the NBA over the officiating across the series’ first two games.