Obi Toppin, Jalen Brunson propel Knicks to comeback win over 76ers

Knicks Jalen Brunson, left, drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers' De'Anthony Melton.
Knicks’ Jalen Brunson, left, drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers’ De’Anthony Melton.
AP Photo/Chris Szagola

The Knicks topped the shorthanded 76ers during a comeback victory in Philadelphia on Friday night, bringing the team back to an even 4–4 record on the young season.

Propelled by a pair of clutch three pointers from Obi Toppin, and stellar play from Jalen Brunson, New York emerged victorious by a 106–104 margin — though Philadelphia was missing its two biggest stars, Joel Embiid and James Harden. 

Embiid missed the contest with a non-COVID illness, while Harden is out for around a month with a right foot tendon strain. 

The Knicks fell behind during the game due their porous ball handling, as they turned the ball over 21 times in the contest, but they never gave up, and pulled out the gritty win in the City of Brotherly Love. 

Down by nine points heading into the fourth quarter, Toppin hit three separate three pointers, while adding another four points to finish the quarter with 13, and led the comeback alongside point guard Jalen Brunson.

Brunson finished with 23 points to lead the Knicks. R.J. Barrett scored 22. 

Julius Randle had 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, Cam Reddish scored 11 points and Isaiah Hertenstein added eight points and 10 rebounds in extended minutes at center off the bench.

The wing helped the Knicks snap a three-game skid. 

Friday’s victory also marked a significant lineup change for the Knicks. 

Head coach Tom Thibodeau put Quentin Grimes on the floor to start the game in place of Evan Fournier, who had been penciled in as the starting shooting guard each game this season, marking a significant shift in an effort to improve the mediocre play. 

Despite getting the starting nod, though, Grimes played only 15 minutes, and recorded just 2 points, along with an assist and a rebound.

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