Knicks beat Sixers, Brand scores 24

FINAL SCORE: Knicks 110, Sixers 104.

Not much running play-by-play in the second half as deadine approached, but a couple of things: Marreese Speights looked good again in his minutes. He started poorly, but gained momentum. Royal Ivey hit a few outside shots. Kareem Rush missed all his outside shots. When the Sixers' starters faced the Knicks' starters, the Sixers outplayed them.

HALFTIME: Knicks 60, Sixers 51. The Knicks continued to play their starters in the second quarter while the Sixers' Elton Brand, Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala, and Sam Dalembert sat.

First quarter: Sixers 38, Knicks 22. Brand has 18 points.

Substitutions: Kareem Rush is first guy off bench (with 3:45 left in first quarter) for Thaddeus Young. Reggie Evans (also at 3:45) comes in for Sam Dalembert. Lou Williams checks in (with 1:44 left in first) for Andre Miller. Donyell Marshall checks in (with 1:36 left) for Elton Brand.

Observations: Elton Brand has been much more involved early this game than he was Wednesday against the Celtics. Brand has hit a nice midpost turn-around jumper, a 15-footer off a pick-and-roll with Miller, and another jumper. He has six points. The Sixers showed some transition early, with a great break where Iguodala finished with a dunk, it started off of a Dalembert rebound.

Speaking of Sam, he had a very nice drive from the top of the key: He finished going right off the glass. Right now the Sixers look much better than they did Wednesday. But the competition -- the Knicks -- aren't at the same level as the Celtics.

Sixers have showed some good offense, getting the ball to Brand and running cuts, also running pick-and-rolls with Andre Miller, who's done a great job distributing the basketball.

Sixers held leads of 12-4 and 20-11.

Rush's first shot comes 15 seconds into his court time, a 3-pointer from the corner. It's long, but Brand ends up finishing the play. He has 13 points on 5 for 6 shooting. Now he has 15 points on 6 of 7 shooting. Another successful pick-and-roll with Miller. Brand goes to the hoop for another basket.

Sixers lead 26-16.

I don't think the Knicks are going to be very good this season. They've give up 33 points this quarter.

Of note: Elton and Reggie Evans are playing together. Iguodala has played well, shooting well from the outside. He is 3 for 5 with nine points.

Second Quarter

Substitutions: Antywane Robinson start second quarter for Iguodala. Royal Ivey checks in (with 9:05 left in second) for Robinson. Marreese Speights checks in (with 6:17 left in second) for Donyell Marshall. Young returns (with 4:55 left) for Evans.

Observations: The Sixers lineup of Lou Williams, Royal Ivey, Kareem Rush, Donyell Marshall, and Reggie Evans didn't quite have the same effect as the starters. Sixers only lead 42-39.

Lou Williams uses a pick-and-roll very well. He just went off of Evans and hesitated then went to the rim and scored.

Knicks lead 47-44. I believe that is a 26-6 run.

Rush misses a three. That's two missed for him. Speights not looking as effective as Wednesday. He has looked out of position on defense, picking up two fouls. He also missed a long shot.

Thad Young's ball handling: Twice Young has tried to go from perimeter to the hoop and twice he has lost the ball.

Speights gets on the glass. Nearly tipping in a Lou Williams' miss. Then he hits a nice baseline jumper off a pass from Royal Ivey. Then Speights takes a charge along the baseline. Good work by the rookie.

Ivey makes a three-pointer from the corner.

Rush misses another three -- although he did just make a good helpside rotation and steal on defense.

Knicks lead 52-46.  

Third Quarter: Knicks 87, Sixers 77.