76ers file grievance with NBA for officiating during 1st-round series vs. Knicks

Knicks 76ers Embiid
New York Knicks’ Isaiah Hartenstein, left, and Donte DiVincenzo, right, defend against Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (21) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Philadelphia 76ers are focusing some of their dissatisfaction with falling into an 0-2 series hole against the New York Knicks on the officiating. 

The Sixers are filing a grievance with the NBA related to the refereeing during the first two games of their first-round series at Madison Square Garden — specifically in the final moments of Game 2 that saw New York pull out a miraculous finish. 

Down 101-96 with 28 seconds to go, the Knicks got a quick three-pointer by Jalen Brunson to fall thanks to an advantageous bounce off the side rim. On the ensuing inbound, Philadelphia tried to find point guard Tyrese Maxey, who was hounded by Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo.

Maxey fell to the court amid contact and Hart managed to steal the ball away. DiVincenzo missed an initial three-pointer from the wing New York center Isaiah Hartenstein secured the offensive rebound. The ball was kicked back out to DiVincenzo, who drained the go-ahead, straightaway three-pointer with 13 seconds to go. 

While the 76ers implored that Maxey was fouled, the officials also appeared to miss the timeout that Philadelphia head coach Nick Nurse was trying to call during that dooming inbound. 

“Everyone was trying to call a timeout on the floor,” 76ers star center Joel Embiid began. “… There were a bunch of fouls. That was f—ing unacceptable.”

Philadelphia should not hold its breath for any sort of admittance of wrongdoing from the league. The Knicks protested a Feb. 12 loss to the Houston Rockets after officials determined after the game that a foul by Brunson on a three-point attempt, which set up the Rockets’ game-winning free throws, should not have been called. 

The league, however, denied the team’s protest and did not overturn the result. 

This is an opportunity for the 76ers to partake in some gamesmanship, however, The series shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Thursday and their dissatisfaction with the stripes will certainly be in the back of the officials’ minds. 

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