Knicks’ late comeback falls short in Summer League opening loss to 76ers

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May 6, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Knicks guard DaQuan Jeffries (8) prior to game three of the 2023 NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat at Kaseya Center.
May 6, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Knicks guard DaQuan Jeffries (8) prior to game three of the 2023 NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat at Kaseya Center. / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Vegas Knicks began the 2023 Summer League campaign with a 110-101 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Here are the takeaways….

– The Vegas Knicks got off to a good start, getting to the basket thanks to fancy passes and fast-break opportunities over turnovers. DaQuan Jeffries led the team with 10 points on 3-of-5 shooting in the first quarter as the Knicks took a 28-27 lead after one.

The Knicks didn’t shoot a great percentage (45 percent) opposed to Philly’s 52 percent, but they were able to get to the free-throw line.

Jeffries was predictably the high-scorer for the Knicks, finishing with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting (1-for-3 from three), four rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 21 minutes.

– On the other end, Trevor Keels — the Knicks’ 2022 second-round pick — just didn’t have it in this one. In 14 minutes of play, he went 1-for-6 from the field and picked up just two points. He did dish out four assists and grabbed one rebound, but he was a non-factor in this one. He had a game-low -23 plus/minus rating when he was on the floor.

It was a tough game for the Vegas Knicks as the only two players who had a plus rating while on the floor were Charlie Brown Jr. (+1), and Marcus Garrett (+7).

-The second quarter is really where Philly’s Vegas team shined. The 76ers shot 55 percent in the frame and held the Knicks to just 32 percent shooting to put some distance between them, a lead that wouldn’t be in jeopardy until the waning moments of the game — more on that later.

The G-League Finals MVP, Jaden Springer was the star of this one. He played 32 minutes and posted 22 points to lead all scorers along with three rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block. Philly had seven players score in double-digits.

– The Knicks shot 55 percent in the third quarter and finished on a 12-5 run to cut the once 16-point deficit to eight heading into the fourth quarter. Michael Foster Jr. would go on a two-minute stretch where he made seven-straight points for the Knicks to cut the 76ers lead to 94-86 with 4:22 to go.

Brown Jr. would hit five straight points for the Knicks to cut the lead to four. With 19 seconds left, the Knicks were down just three points, but the 76ers would hit their free throws to hold on for the 110-101 win.

– Brown Jr. was the workhorse of this game, playing 30 minutes and posting 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting with six rebounds, an assist and three steals. While he went 0-for-4 from three — not many Knicks made a three in this one — he kept the Knicks in the game especially in the aforementioned fourth quarter.

Isaiah Roby was not very efficient while on the floor. In 26 minutes he was just 3-for-8 and 0-for-3 from long distance. He wound up with just seven points. He was able to grab five rebounds and dish two assists but he just wasn’t involved enough in the offense.


What’s next

The Knicks take on the Nets on Sunday, July 9. Tip off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.