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76ers 125, Knicks 109: Scenes from a lot of fouls and a lot of Burks

Perhaps too much?

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks collapsed down the stretch yet again, falling to the Philadelphia 76ers, 125-109.

The Knicks were actually playing a good fourth quarter for a while, trailing by a single point halfway through the period despite the Sixers’ foul-baiting (Philadelphia shot a preposterous 44 free throws). Both Knicks big men, Mitchell Robinson and Jericho Sims, fouled out, which made Thom Thibodeau go with a kinda small lineup of Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, Obi Toppin and Julius Randle. That lineup was holding its own, and a fun time was being had by all.

But these are the 2021-22 Knicks, and fans are always watching these games with bated breath, waiting for Thibs to make a stupid move, usually to insert a veteran. These days, the veteran is usually Alec Burks. IQ was badly outplaying Burks, particularly in the second half, so Thibs inserted Burks for Cam. From there, the Sixers finished the game on a 19-4 run.

It wasn’t all Burks’ fault, of course. Julius Randle couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn in the fourth quarter. Most of the Knicks struggled with their free-throw shooting again. But, man, am I sick of all the Alec Burks run. He’s a good bench off-guard; Thibs is playing him like he’s prime Michael Jordan. Burks finished with six points on 2-6 shooting in 34 minutes. Quickley scored 21 points 26 minutes. Miles McBride didn’t play.

Recap to come.