On Wednesday night, the Philadelphia 76ers won their 11th game of the year after beating the New York Knicks on T.J. McConnell‘s game-winner.
Philly played shockingly well after their weak first quarter and gave the Knicks fits all night long. Their shooting was atrocious (39 percent), but the Sixers remained aggressive and pounded the Knicks on the glass and from the free throw line. Joel Embiid, who wasn’t even the game’s hero, hauled in 14 of Philly’s 47 boards, and the team assisted on 27 of their 37 made shots.
But none of that matters.
The only thing that matters is McConnell’s buzzer beater and Embiid’s hilariously outrageous reaction to it. Philadelphia was put in that spot following a wide-open airball from the Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis that came after Derrick Rose drew three defenders on his baseline drive. Rose, who finished with 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting, made the right play by kicking the ball out to Justin Holiday, who then made the extra feed to an open Zinger.
McConnell got the final shot off after basically not being defended by Carmelo Anthony. On his drive, McConnell cleared enough space to get a shot off, and Melo was unable to recover; Porzingis got a hand up, but he wasn’t close enough to defend the shot. His final stat line totaled eight points, seven rebounds, six assists and one near choke-out by Embiid.
I'm surprised he wasn't hospitalized Cuz … BIG time shot @TJMcConnell pic.twitter.com/4LyguuKH2u
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) January 12, 2017
After the buzzer, the Rookie of the Year front-runner celebrated in a way that didn’t shock — by dancing with the Sixers’ cheerleaders.
#NBAVote Joel Embiid pic.twitter.com/bNzIpcAub7
— Christian Crosby (@ChristianCrosby) January 12, 2017
Things are looking up in the City of Brotherly Love, and Brett Brown has coached his team to a win total surpassing last year’s, and they’re on pace to have their highest winning percentage since 2013.
Somewhere, Sam Hinkie is smiling.
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