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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 19th (All times eastern)

Philadelphia 76ers (24-44) at New York Knicks (24-44), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New York Knicks shoot for a second win over the Philadelphia 76ers in less than a week when the two Atlantic Division inhabitants face one another tonight at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks dealt the struggling Sixers a 94-84 defeat in Philadelphia on Monday behind 21 points from Danilo Gallinari and a 20-point, seven-assist effort out of rookie Toney Douglas. The win was New York's second in three meetings between the longtime rivals this season.

Philadelphia did sweep the four-game season series in 2008-09, however, and has enjoyed plenty of success when visiting the Big Apple in recent years. The 76ers have prevailed in three straight and five of their last six trips to Madison Square Garden, including a hard-fought 141-127 overtime decision on October 31.

Monday's setback to the Knicks had extended the 76ers' losing streak to five games, a slide the club was able to snap with Wednesday's 108-97 home victory over the hapless New Jersey Nets. The triumph was only Philadelphia's second in its last 12 overall outings.

Andre Iguodala netted 20 points and dished out eight assists for the Sixers, who jumped out to a 33-22 advantage after one quarter and led the rest of the way. The advantage grew to as many as 22 points after Jason Kapono buried a three-pointer with 4:25 to go.

"I thought we did a good job executing the game plan at both ends," said Sixers coach Eddie Jordan. "We wanted to offensively establish Elton (Brando) and Andre, and Andre certainly stepped up and established himself early."

Brand finished with 12 points and eight rebounds for Philadelphia, which also received 19 points out of rookie Jrue Holiday.

The Knicks return home tonight after completing a five-game road trip with a 109-97 St. Patrick's Day loss at Boston. New York went 2-3 on the swing that was highlighted by Saturday's 128-94 rout of Dallas, which ended the Southwest Division-leading Mavericks' 13-game win streak.

Boston opened up a 32-19 lead after one quarter of Wednesday's game and went ahead by a 68-49 margin at the half before cruising the rest of the play.

"There were a lot of too's out there. They were too big, too quick, too good, and the road trip a little too long," said Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni afterward. "I thought the effort was there. We tried to do it. We just weren't good enough."

David Lee was one bright spot for New York, with the All-Star forward racking up 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists on the night.

Tonight's matchup begins a three-game homestand for the Knicks, with Houston and Denver also slated to visit the Garden in the coming days. New York is just 14-21 at home for the season but has won two of its last three tests as the host.

03/19 10:32:09 ET


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