Knicks defeated 76ers | Borneobulletin online

AP – The famous chants of “MVP! MVP!” for Jalen Brunson were replaced by a completely different sound in a raucous Madison Square Garden. “Deuuuuuce!”

Deuce McBride, Brunson’s backup, led a huge effort by New York’s reserves last night in a 111-104 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

Brunson and Josh Hart each scored 22 points, but Brunson put the credit elsewhere when asked in his on-court interview what it would take to give the Knicks the win. “Deuce McBride,” he said.

McBride finished with 21 points and outscored the 76ers by 13 himself in the second quarter, when Joel Embiid had to leave after appearing to re-injure his surgically repaired left knee during a dunk.

Embiid returned to give the 76ers the lead in the second half, but Hart hit a pair of big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help the Knicks pull out the lead. Hart also had 13 rebounds for the No. 2-seeded Knicks, who had lost Game 1 the last three times they opened a series at home. Embiid finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Tyrese Maxey led the 76ers with 33 points.

New York Knicks guard Josh Hart goes to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. PHOTO: AP

“They protected home court,” 76ers guard Kyle Lowry said. “We have to go, watch the film, understand what we need to do, what we need to get better at and go from there.”

Bojan Bogdanovic came off the bench for 13 points and Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks’ former starter at center who has been a reserve since returning from ankle surgery, had eight points and 12 rebounds while playing 30 minutes and leading the charge against Embiid.

The Knicks defeated the 76ers by 37 points when McBride was in the game, 27 when Bogdanovic was in and 20 with Robinson.

“They were the reason we won the game,” Hart said. “If your top dog isn’t shooting well, you need other guys to pick it up for him and that’s what they did.”

Embiid was limited to 39 games this season, missing nearly two months after leaving meniscus surgery on Feb. 6. He still appears limited — certainly not the dominant player who scored a franchise-record 70 points just before his injury — but helped the 76ers get past Miami in a play-in game to earn the No. 7 seed.

The 76ers listed Embiid as doubtful to play and coach Nick Nurse said before the game that his big man would go through warmups before the team determined whether he would play.

“I think he’s really a warrior and he’s fighting,” the nurse said. “I think he definitely wants to play. Let’s see how he looks tonight.”