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NBA Scores: Knicks stun Sixers on day dominated by Kyrie

But hey: Six games is still six games!

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Though it had probably been gestating for far longer, it only took a little more than 24 hours for the first major NBA trade domino to fall, and it’s a big one: Kyrie Irving is headed to the Dallas Mavericks. Around 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported that Irving had requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets; by 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Irving was a Maverick. And so it began.

Nevertheless, six games still unfolded as scheduled on Sunday, each one worth recapping. Contrary to his likely belief, the very round Earth still turns despite the drama Kyrie may cause. Let’s get to the scores.

Sixers squander hot start, fall to Knicks, 108-97

Philly fans better hope that the Sixers’ inability to hold a 21-point lead is not a citywide problem; their Eagles have a football game to play next week, after all. But that’s twice in a matter of days that the 76ers have blown a 21-point lead, once last Monday in their 119-109 loss to the Magic, and then again on Sunday to the Knicks. Philly had built a 21-point advantage in the first quarter, but it was shortlived. By halftime, the Knicks had reduced that lead to two, and were able to seal the deal with a dominant fourth quarter.

Joel Embiid did his typical damage despite the loss, scoring 31 points for the 76ers and pulling down 14 rebounds. Julius Randle led New York with 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while Jalen Brunson scored 21 points and Evan Fournier added 17 off the bench.

Raptors rally to beat stumbling Grizzlies, 106-103

On Dec. 22, 2022, Ja Morant said some things he probably wishes he could have back. At least in hindsight, he does, given that his Grizzlies are 7-8 against the Western Conference since he claimed he was “fine in the West,” and that the only team he really feels Memphis needs to worry about is the Boston Celtics. Against the NBA as a whole, Memphis is 12-10. And after Sunday night’s collapse against the Raptors, the Grizz have lost three straight and eight of their last nine.

Toronto rallied from 15 points down to nab its second-straight win, though Memphis had a chance to thwart the comeback. Jaren Jackson Jr. — taking a shot Ja Morant surely would have taken had he not sat with right wrist soreness — missed a potentially game-tying three-pointer with 5.2 seconds remaining, effectively ending the game. Desmond Bane led all scorers with 26 points in the loss; the Raptors only played eight players, seven of which finished in double-figures.

Magic sneak past Hornets, 119-113

When you make one of your nine free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter, can you really expect to win? That’s what happened to the Hornets on Sunday, and it basically tells the story of this mid-off, a contest between two lottery-bound teams lost by the one that couldn’t close. Paolo Banchero led the way for Orlando with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Wendell Carter Jr. had his own double-double, dropping 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Timberwolves wallop shorthanded Nuggets, 128-98

No Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for the Nuggets essentially tells the story in this one. That, plus Michael Porter Jr.’s two-for-10 night from three, despite scoring 22 points. Minnesota never trailed, cruising to its seventh win in the last 10 tries. The Nuggets, meanwhile, need not fret: they still have a 4.5 game cushion atop the West, and no reason to believe the stars absent from this one will be resting for very long.

Cavs ease past Pacers, 122-103

All five Cleveland started finished in double-figures en route to the Cavs’ third win out of their last four, led by Darius Garland’s 24 and Isaac Okoro’s 20. As a team, the Cavs made 15 three-pointers and dominated Indiana from the jump, leading by as many as 26 and only ever trailing by a maximum of six points (which didn’t last long).

Pelicans crush Kings, 136-104

“Hi, my name is Trey and I have a basketball game tomorrowwwwww.”