87 - 116 Final
  for this game

Sixers rout Knicks, grab first win with Brand

Nov 1, 2008 - 4:17 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- The celebration was not as joyous, but the Philadelphia 76ers added to the recent success in the City of Brotherly Love.

Elton Brand collected 24 points and 14 rebounds as the 76ers bounced back from a disappointing season-opening loss with Friday's 116-87 victory over the New York Knicks in a game played in the wake of a raucous World Series parade.

Andre Miller had 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Philadelphia, which started the campaign with Wednesday's 95-84 setback to the Toronto Raptors despite being touted as one of the league's most dangerous young teams after the offseason acquisition of Brand.

"Set the tone, that's what I wanted to do personally," Brand said. "We didn't want to go down 0-2. We wanted to get that victory and get the first win off our backs."

"The first game we weren't as aggressive as we needed to be," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "The second game we were more aggressive. We scored off their made baskets and we set the tone early on in the defensive end."

Just hours after the city celebrated the Phillies' five-game win over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Sixers showed their promise against the Knicks, shooting 59 percent from the field (52-of-88) and holding a 61-43 advantage on the glass. Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins watched the thorough performance from his courtside seat, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.

Notoriously callous Philadelphia fans arrived late to this one after flooding the streets to honor their World Series champions, who last hoisted the trophy in 1980. In fact, the 1983 Sixers were the last team to bring a title back to the city.

"I was excited for the city of Philadelphia getting a championship after 25 years," Sixers guard Willie Green said. "I'm happy for those guys. It was well-deserved. They worked hard all year long and the fans were very supportive. It was good to see the turnout that we had today."

David Lee had 13 points and 11 rebounds for New York, which again played without former All-Star Stephon Marbury. The enigmatic guard was placed on the inactive list for this one after suiting up but not playing in the Knicks' 120-115 season-opening triumph over the Miami Heat on Wednesday.

New York, which fired coach and team president Isiah Thomas after a 23-59 finish last season, cannot seem to shake controversy. Despite Wednesday's win, Marbury's status as a $21.9 million bench player has dominated the news. His contract expires at the end of the season, but he reportedly has refused a buyout.

"This is the direction that we're are going and it is the decision that we made," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We have a long view, and it wasn't tonight. If I was playing for everything for tonight, then obviously you do things different. You don't play for everything for tonight. What we're doing is try to build a base on as we go forward."

Jamal Crawford added 14 points for the Knicks, who shot a dismal 33 percent (32-of-98) from the field and were outscored by the Sixers, 54-39, in the second half.

Philadelphia started off hot, receiving 14 points from Brand in the opening quarter en route to a 31-24 lead heading into the second period.

"I was a little tentative in the fist game of the season," Brand said. "Tonight, I wanted to assert myself from tip-off. This is a different Knicks team from last year. They were coming off a big (win) vs. Miami at home, so we wanted to step them right from the gate."

The Knicks pulled within 37-33 on Nate Robinson's basket, but the Sixers went on an 8-3 run capped by a three-point play from Louis Williams to take a 45-36 advantage.

In the opening half, Green scored 13 points off the bench and Williams added nine as Philadelphia took a 60-46 lead into the locker room.

"It was a great team effort tonight," Green said. "I thought that everyone came out and paid close attention to detail which was get up defensively and make those guys take tough shots."

The final two quarters resembled an exhibition contest - and many of the Knicks' losses last campaign - as the Sixers waltzed to the basket unimpeded on numerous occasions.

"I was trying to get the ball up the court," Miller said. "I kind of fell into some drives and everybody picked up from there."

"We let them off the hook a couple of times and they broke the game open," D'Antoni said. "We had some chances with a couple of runs but we didn't come up with the rebounds. Obviously, they shot the ball real well and our defense has to get better."

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