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Knicks, Sixers collide in lottery race

Mar 20, 2015 - 2:14 PM ( - Bottom feeders in both the Atlantic Division and NBA collide Friday night at Wells Fargo Center, as the Philadelphia 76ers entertain the rival New York Knicks.

The Sixers and Knicks are battling for draft position and right now the latter has the upper hand with a league-worst 14-54 mark. The Sixers aren't far off with a 16-52 record.

Philadelphia is in the midst of playing seven of eight games at home and recorded a 94-83 victory over the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night behind Ish Smith's 15 points and eight assists in his start at point guard. Jason Richardson scored 14 points, Thomas Robinson had 12 off the bench and Nerlens Noel collected 11 points, four boards and three blocks.

"He's got uncanny timing," 76ers coach Brett Brown said of Noel. "He can do things on the ball, off the ball, block lefty and righty and he's patient."

Noel suffered a foot contusion and is expected to play Friday.

The Sixers are 11-24 at home and will play the next three games out west against the LA Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets.

New York will play two straight on the road against the Sixers and Toronto Raptors, and has lost two in a row and five of six games as the visitor. It is only 5-30 away from Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks failed to build on an improbable win over the San Antonio Spurs with Thursday's 95-92 overtime defeat versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. Langston Galloway and Alexey Shved scored 21 and 20 points, respectively, and Andrea Bargnani added 14 in defeat.

Minnesota scored 10 of the 17 points in the extra period.

"We didn't make shots toward the end," Galloway said.

Shved, who spent time with the Sixers this season, is averaging 17.8 points per game in his last eight games (7 starts).

New York has lost eight of its last 10 games and could be without guard Tim Hardaway Jr. again because of a wrist injury. He has missed back-to-back games and is averaging 11.3 ppg.

The Knicks are 2-0 against the Sixers this season and the Atlantic foes will clash again April 5 at MSG. New York has won four straight and 12 of the last 15 games against Philadelphia, which is winless in three straight as the host in this series.