Knicks can't withstand 76ers' second-half surge, fall 125-114 in Game 3

The Knicks held a three-point halftime lead, but couldn't weather a huge third quarter from Joel Embiid and the 76ers as Philadelphia got back into the series winning Game 3, 125-114, on Thursday night.

Here are the takeaways...

-Embiid put up 50 points on 13-for-19 shooting and 21 free throws to lead the Sixers, including making 8 of 10 from the floor in the second half.

-Jalen Brunson finished with 39 points and 13 assists in his first strong outing of the postseason. Josh Hart and OG Anunoby contributed 20 and 17 points, respectively.

-Tyrese Maxey had 25 points and seven assists, while Kelly Oubre Jr. added 15 points and seven rebounds.

-The Knicks got off to their best start of the series, keeping close with the 76ers out of the gates. Philly's supporting cast finally began chipping in, with 12 early points from Tobias Harris and Oubre Jr.

-Isaiah Hartenstein picked up two fouls at the midway point of the first, but Brunson finally got some rhythm going to give his team an early edge. He scored nine points and two assists on 4-for-7 shooting in the opening frame as the Knicks led 29-27 going into the second.

-Needing a spark from somewhere, Philly turned to Cameron Payne, who played two minutes the entire series thus far. He immediately made an impact with two threes, eight points and two assists in the second quarter, helping reclaim the lead.

-New York managed to take control back toward halftime behind more Brunson buckets and an offensive emergence from Anunoby, who had 17 points and 11 points at the break, respectively. Also a major contributor: Precious Achiuwa, subbed in the final minutes as both other centers had three fouls, defended and rebounded hard to give the Knicks a 58-55 advantage after two.

-Mitchell Robinson was ruled out at halftime with a sprained ankle.

-After a quiet opening half, Maxey got it going after halftime, hitting multiple step-back threes en route to 10 points in the third.

-The Sixers piled on. Embiid hit three straight threes to put Philly up double digits and ignite a massive team-wide heater.

-Philly shot 9-for-12 from three in the third quarter, and while Brunson looked as comfortable as he has all series, the Sixers constantly had an answer. They took a 98-85 lead going into the fourth.

-New York failed to make real headway for the entirety of the final period. Embiid consistently had an answer, drawing Hartenstein's fifth foul from three, then nailing one with Brunson in his grill, punishing the Knicks with dagger after dagger.

Game MVP: Joel Embiid

The type of game you expect from an NBA MVP, and from an Embiid that looked as healthy and locked in as he has all series. 50 points, eight rebounds, four assists. Going 13-for-19 from the field, 19-for-21 from the free throw stripe and 5-for-7 from three in an all-time playoff performance for the big man.


What's next

The loss means the series will return to New York, but first, these two will lock horns for Game 4 in Philadelphia on Sunday with a 1:00 p.m. tip-off.