After the Sixers beat the Knicks 79 to 73 on Sunday evening, Jalen Brunson told reporters the following:

It looked like a 2006-era Big East Tournament game in Madison Square Garden. The defense was smothering, the shooting was woeful, and the chippiness was apparent.

The last game in which both teams scored fewer than 80 points was on January 6th, not that January 6th, but 1/6/16, when the Nuggets defeated the T Wolves 78-74. Danilo Gallinari led all scorers in that game with 20 points on 6-15 shooting while KAT paced Minnesota with 14. An instant classic, it was not.

In this case, the Knicks couldn’t throw the ball into the water from the side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Brunson shot 6-22 and launched a three pointer at the end of the game that found nothing but backboard. Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo combined to go 10-40 from the floor and New York collectively hit just 12 of 16 free throws. The Sixers weren’t much better offensively, but Buddy Hield and Paul Reed contributed 29 points off the bench and Kelly Oubre got himself to the foul line en route to 18 points.

Some notes from the box score:

  • Knicks: 26-80 (32.5%), 9-40 from three (22.5%)
  • Sixers: 31-80 (38.8%), 9-30 from three (30%)
  • both teams combined: 20 for 30 from the foul line (66%)
  • both starting lineups combined: 38 for 119 (31.9%)

The great thing is we get to see these two teams again, in the same arena, on Tuesday night. It’s one of those weird away/away schedule quirks, followed by a trip to Milwaukee and then respite at home in the form of Charlotte. But after that it’s Miami at Wells Fargo Center, followed by the Phoenix/LA/Sacramento road swing, then home to the Clippers and away to Toronto and Cleveland. Every stupid, low-scoring win counts, because there’s only a game separating 6th and 8th in the east, and that’s the difference between the play-in tournament and a first round series against the Celtics or Bucks, vs. getting the Cavs (possibly) instead and not having to do the mini-tournament nonsense.