Afflalo, Knicks beat Sixers 107-07 for 3rd straight win
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Kristaps Porzingis was excited to face a fellow top rookie for the second straight game.
He was even more excited to get another win.
Arron Afflalo had 22 points and seven rebounds, Derrick Williams scored 17 off the bench and the New York Knicks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 107-97 Friday night for their third straight victory.
Porzingis added eight points, four rebounds and three blocks for the Knicks in his first matchup against Jahlil Okafor.
Okafor, who missed Philadelphia's first meeting vs. New York on Dec. 2 because of a suspension, scored 20 points for the Sixers in their ninth straight loss. They fell to 1-27.
''The great thing about (Porzingis) is even if he's not getting the most amount of opportunities offensively, he's blocking shots, he's changing shots, he's still impacting the game,'' Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. ''We're a better team when he's out there on the floor and I think he's going to continue to learn every night when he's out there on the floor.''
Okafor was chosen third overall in this year's NBA draft and Porzingis was picked next. They both got huge cheers whenever they touched the ball.
It was the second straight game Porzingis clashed against another top rookie. The 7-foot-3 Porzingis blocked seven shots in a 107-102 win over Minnesota and No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns on Wednesday.
''For me, it's exciting to go up against those guys,'' Porzingis said. ''We went through the draft process together and played in the summer league and now to go against them in the regular season is exciting. You can test yourself playing against those guys.''
Porzingis had less of an impact against the Sixers than he did against the Timberwolves but got plenty of help from his teammates. Carmelo Anthony had all 16 points in the first half before sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
Lance Thomas added 12 points and Kyle O'Quinn 10 for the Knicks.
Led by Afflalo, who shot 9 for 13, the Knicks made 47.1 percent of their shots and scored 65 points in the first half, leading Sixers coach Brett Brown to blast his team's defense.
''It's been non-existent lately,'' Brown said. ''I think you're seeing a theme of perimeter people - Afflalo, Carmelo, Derrick Williams - we're just getting manhandled with adult NBA wings. . We're really struggling to guard on the perimeter.''
Tony Wroten scored a season-high 15 for the Sixers and Isaiah Canaan had 14. Nerlens Noel, back in the lineup after missing two games with a left eye abrasion, got eight points on 4-for-4 shooting.
An alley-oop from Langston Galloway to Williams gave the Knicks a 46-30 lead with 7:39 lead to go in the second quarter. A 3-pointer by Afflalo put them up by 20 four minutes before halftime.
The Knicks built their lead to 30 in the second half. The Sixers closed the game on a 29-9 run.
FEEL MORE PAIN
As the Sixers continue to flirt with having the worst season in NBA history, Brown wants to see his players show more emotion on the bench.
On Friday, he noticed that Canaan had a ''truly pained'' look on his face but admitted that the team ''needs more of that'' from other players.
''You want it to hurt,'' Brown said. ''You want them to figure out, `What just happened?' Talk about it. Fix it. Let it be painful.''
RETURN OF THE HAWK
Galloway, who starred at nearby Saint Joseph's from 2010-14, has now played three games in Philadelphia since joining the Knicks last season. And just like in the first two, he had many of his old college teammates and coaches packing a section of the stadium to cheer him on.
Galloway, who led St. Joe's to an Atlantic 10 championship in his final year there, was held scoreless in the first half but finished with seven points.
''It's still the same,'' Galloway said. ''It's always going to be special, having played college here.''
Knicks: When Porzingis was asked by a reporter to give himself a grade for his performance vs. Towns and Okafor, O'Quinn butted in from the next locker over. ''He didn't even go to school,'' O'Quinn said, drawing laughs. ''He doesn't know how the grading system works.'' . The Knicks improved to 13-14 with the win. They didn't win 13 games last season until March. ... The Knicks had lost their most recent game in Philly, falling to the Sixers last March, 97-81.
76ers: Mike D'Antoni, hired earlier in the day as an associate coach, was not in the building. He'll join the team during its West Coast trip from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2. . Before the game, the Sixers announced they assigned rookie forward Christian Wood to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League. . JaKarr Sampson dislocated his right pinky in the second quarter but returned late in the third quarter. . The Sixers shot 6 for 24 from 3-point range. . The Sixers found an interesting way to score at the end of the first quarter when Jerami Grant tried to beat the buzzer with a heave from beyond halfcourt. Teammate T.J. McConnell followed the flight of the ball, got the rebound and scored just before time expired.
Knicks: host Chicago on Saturday.
76ers: visit Cleveland on Sunday.