By Jerry Wein
Joel Embiid had 27 points and 10 rebounds, leading the visiting Sixers to a 109-89 victory.
Ben Simmons had 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists while forcing New York’s RJ Barrett into a miserable shooting performance.
The Sixers beat the Knicks for the 13th straight time since early in the 2017-18 season, the first with Embiid and Simmons playing together.
They did it by breaking open a close game in the third quarter, when they had seven assists on their 11 baskets.
”Team basketball wins games and championships,” Simmons said.
Tobias Harris and Seth Curry each scored 17 points as Philly improved to 2-0 and got off to a good start in turning around its road woes after finishing with a 12-26 road record last season. Having Curry and Danny Green aboard should help with their ability to hit from deep.
”If you want to double, I dare you because we’re going to knock down those shots,” Embiid said.
New coach Doc Rivers earned his 945th victory, moving ahead of Bill Fitch into sole possession of 10th place on the career list.
”It’s a great feeling,” said Rivers, in his 22nd season. ”I don’t count and it’s not why I coach but it’s an honor.”
Julius Randle scored 25 points and Alec Burks added 22 for the Knicks, who fell to 0-2 under Tom Thibodeau. Barrett, after a 26-point season opener, shot 2 for 15 and had 10 points.
”Our responsibility is to improve each and every day. Come in, put everything you have into it,” Thibodeau said. ”The games reveal exactly where we are and obviously it’s showing us that we have a lot of work to do.”
The Knicks were without both their first-round rookies. Obi Toppin is sidelined by a strained right calf and Immanuel Quickley was still sore after sustaining a hip pointer in their season opener.
The Sixers’ lead was just three a minute and a half into the third quarter before six straight points made it 68-59 on Curry’s 3-pointer. Randle made a free throw, but two baskets by Embiid and 3-pointers by Curry and Green made it a 16-3 run and extended the lead to 78-62 midway through the period.
The Knicks cut it to nine midway through the fourth, but Embiid nailed a 3-pointer before a nice flurry by Simmons pushed it to 104-85