76ers entertain visiting Knicks

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The two worst teams in the Eastern Conference square off Wednesday night when the New York Knicks visit the Wells Fargo Center to take on the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Sixers are 2 1/2 games ahead of their Atlantic Division rivals, but the Knicks played their way out of a massive funk last time out.

The Knicks ended a franchise-worst 16-game losing streak on Monday with a 99-92 home victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. It was New York's first win in Madison Square Garden since Nov. 22 versus these same 76ers, a span of 12 games.

"We didn't really talk about how many games we had lost," Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. "We had to act as if we expected this at some point. Obviously we enjoy it ... it feels good to win."

Carmelo Anthony had 24 points and nine rebounds to lead the Knicks past the Pelicans, who played without both Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday.

Langston Galloway netted 21 points and Amare Stoudemire added 14 points and six rebounds off the bench for the Knicks, who hadn't won since Dec. 12 against the Boston Celtics.

The Pelicans trimmed a 15-point first-half deficit to a point with under two minutes left when Tyreke Evans connected on a runner in the paint. Omer Asik was called for a foul with less than a second on the shot clock a bit later and with the time winding down again, Anthony found a wide open Jose Calderon in the right corner.

Calderon, who had been 1-of-9 at that point, nailed the 3-pointer to stake the Knicks to a 96-92 advantage with 32.7 seconds left. Ryan Anderson was off on a right corner triple at the other end and Anthony sealed the outcome by making 3-of-4 from the foul line down the stretch.

The Sixers have dropped two straight, but have won three of their last five in south Philadelphia. Both games during this little drought came on the road, with one in Detroit and one in Washington, DC.

On Monday, the Wizards demolished the 76ers, 111-76. It was Philadelphia's 12th straight loss by double-digits.

"I live in a naive world," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "I really think we're going to steal wins every time we play. (Our players) allow me to think that because they have spirited practices ... (but) sometimes you have one of those games. I think you have to give (the Wizards) credit when you look at how bad we were. I think they forced that."

The Wizards led the Martin Luther King Jr. Day game for the final 42 minutes and were ahead by double digits over the last 38 1/2.

Henry Sims led Philadelphia with 13 points. Jerami Grant scored 12 and Nerlens Noel had 11 with seven rebounds, three assists and four steals, but Michael Carter-Williams shot just 2-for-13 for seven points.

The Knicks beat the Sixers by eight in MSG on Nov. 22 and have taken three straight and eight of the last 10 meetings. New York has won in five of its last six trips to Philadelphia.