"We're going to win this series": Joel Embiid boldly predicts Sixers to dig out of 0-2 hole vs Knicks 

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks
"We're going to win this series": Joel Embiid boldly predicts Sixers to dig out of 0-2 hole vs Knicks

Joel Embiid was unfazed after the Philadelphia 76ers dropped to 0-2 in their 2024 NBA playoffs first-round series against the New York Knicks. Embiid and Co. lost a close in Game 2 after an insane melee toward the end.

Embiid and the Sixers were also in contention to win Game 1, which ended 111-104 in the Knicks' favor after Philly's 13-point first-quarter lead. Meanwhile, Monday's Game 2 ended with a 104-101 margin despite the Sixers rectifying most of their issues. Embiid believes that's one of the reasons why the series is not done, as Game 3 moves to Philadelphia.

“We should be 2-0," Embiid told reporters. "We’re good. We’re going to win this series ... We know what we gotta fix.We did a better job today, so we're gonna fix it. But we are the better team and we're gonna keep fighting."

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The Sixers were up four with 56 seconds left, but a couple of 3s from Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo and an Isaiah Hartenstein block on Tyrese Maxey turned the game around.

Before DiVincenzo's 3, there was plenty of physicality from the Knicks as they hounded the 76ers on the inbounds pass. The game could have gone either way amid the melee that broke out in the dying seconds.

Coach Nick Nurse claimed the referee ignored his timeout calls before the sequence that saw the Knicks through. Meanwhile, ESPN's Tim Bontemps has reported that the 76ers are filing a grievance to the NBA about the officiating across the opening two games.


Joel Embiid gets in on refs after heartbreaking loss

Joel Embiid didn't mince words after the Philadelphia 76ers' Game 2 loss. Embiid called out the refs, saying their performance was "unacceptable" after he thought there were multiple fouls on Tyrese Maxey on the last play. Embiid echoed his coach's claims that the refs missed two timeout calls, too:

"Unacceptable," Embiid said. "I mean, Tyrese got fouled a couple of times.
"Everybody on the floor was trying to call a timeout, myself included, Nico, coach on the sideline, but they didn't give it to us," Embiid added.

Maxey absorbed a lot of contact on that sequence and fell to the floor. While that can be a 50-50 call, replays showed Nick Nurse and the Sixers bench asking for timeouts, which the referees didn't award to Philadelphia. That probably could have helped the Sixers keep the lead.

Nevertheless, the Sixers remain in contention to come back in this series with encouraging performances in both games. Joel Embiid has been solid amid his health concerns. He had 34 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in Game 2 and 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Game 1.

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