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Donte DiVincenzo caps desperate rally with 3-pointer, Knicks beat 76ers 104-101 to take 2-0 lead

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Donte DiVincenzo caps desperate rally with 3-pointer, Knicks beat 76ers 104-101 to take 2-0 lead
News

News

Donte DiVincenzo caps desperate rally with 3-pointer, Knicks beat 76ers 104-101 to take 2-0 lead

2024-04-23 11:37 Last Updated At:11:40

NEW YORK (AP) — An eight-point lead was gone. The Knicks' edge in the series and home-court advantage seemed about to follow. Madison Square Garden had fallen nearly silent.

“I mean, it wasn’t a good feeling,” Donte DiVincenzo said.

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Philadelphia 76ers' Kelly Oubre Jr., right, knocks the ball away from New York Knicks' Miles McBride, center, as 76ers' Joel Embiid, left, defends during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — An eight-point lead was gone. The Knicks' edge in the series and home-court advantage seemed about to follow. Madison Square Garden had fallen nearly silent.

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) passes the ball away from New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein (55) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) passes the ball away from New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein (55) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Nicolas Batum (40) defends against a shot by New York Knicks' Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Nicolas Batum (40) defends against a shot by New York Knicks' Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Nicolas Batum (40) defends against New York Knicks' Jalen Brunson (11) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Nicolas Batum (40) defends against New York Knicks' Jalen Brunson (11) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Knicks' Donte DiVincenzo (0) passes the ball to teammate Jalen Brunson during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Knicks' Donte DiVincenzo (0) passes the ball to teammate Jalen Brunson during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein, left, and Donte DiVincenzo, right, defend against Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein, left, and Donte DiVincenzo, right, defend against Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Knicks' Jalen Brunson (11) passes away from Philadelphia 76ers' Tyrese Maxey (0) during the first half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Knicks' Jalen Brunson (11) passes away from Philadelphia 76ers' Tyrese Maxey (0) during the first half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) drives past New York Knicks' Mitchell Robinson, right, and Josh Hart (3) during the first half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) drives past New York Knicks' Mitchell Robinson, right, and Josh Hart (3) during the first half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) shoots over New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein (55) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) shoots over New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein (55) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Moments later, it was bedlam.

DiVincenzo made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining after a desperate scramble, and New York beat the Philadelphia 76ers 104-101 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

The Knicks trailed by five points within the final 30 seconds before one of the most stunning rallies in playoff history, starting when Jalen Brunson finally got a shot to fall during an otherwise miserable shooting night.

Brunson's 3-pointer from the corner bounced on the rim and fell in, cutting it to 101-99 with 27 seconds remaining. Josh Hart stole the ball from Tyrese Maxey to get the ball back for the Knicks, but DiVincenzo missed a 3-pointer. Isaiah Hartenstein grabbed the rebound and passed it to OG Anunoby, who got it back to DiVincenzo, who hit that one to make it 102-101.

“It was crazy, it was hectic, but at that point we had nothing to lose,” Hart said. “Got to get as physical as we can and it panned out.”

Hartenstein then blocked Maxey's drive, Anunoby made two free throws, and the Knicks held on when Joel Embiid missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Brunson finished with 24 points despite going 8 for 29 from the field. Hart had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and DiVincenzo scored 19 points.

It was just the fourth time in the play-by-play era, dating to the 1996-97 season, a team won a playoff game after trailing by at least five points in the last 30 seconds, according to Sportradar. The others included Miami's series-saving rally against San Antonio in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, Golden State's overtime victory over New Orleans in Game 3 in 2015 en route to its first of three titles in four years, and Kobe Bryant's game-winner to beat Phoenix in Game 4 of a first-round series in 2006.

Maxey had 35 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in a brilliant performance after he was ill earlier in the day and missed their morning shootaround. Embiid had 34 points and 10 rebounds.

Game 3 is Thursday in Philadelphia.

“We’re going to win this series,” Embiid said. “We know what we’ve got to fix and we did a better job today, so we’re going to fix it. But we’re the better team and we’re going to keep fighting.”

The 76ers appeared on the verge of going home happy after Maxey had 15 points in the fourth quarter. His 3-pointer with 1:09 to play gave the 76ers a 100-96 lead and when Kyle Lowry made a free throw with 47 seconds to go, the crowd was as quiet as it had been all night.

“That’s not a good feeling to lose that lead,” DiVincenzo said. “The next day it’s going to sting a little bit more.”

A few minutes later the fans were chanting DiVincenzo’s name deliriously after he had given the Knicks their first 2-0 lead in a playoff series since the first round against Boston in 2013.

“It was huge, it was loud as hell in there,” DiVincenzo added.

And the sting goes to the 76ers.

“Got to put it behind us now," Maxey said. “You've got 48 hours to think about it and come up with a plan to get two at home.”

Hartenstein chipped in 14 points and Anunoby had 10, but it was mostly the efforts of Brunson, Hart and DiVincenzo – the three former Villanova Wildcats who will now head back to Philadelphia for the next two games.

Hart scored 19 in the first half to keep the Knicks close in a game they didn’t lead for the first time until there were four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Brunson was only 8 for 26 in Game 1 but had eight rebounds and six assists Monday.

Embiid played 39 minutes, rarely looking bothered by his surgically repaired left knee he appeared to reinjure in Game 1. But he and Maxey had little help, with Tobias Harris the only other Philadelphia player in double figures with 10 points.

Maxey, a finalist for the Most Improved Player award, hit three straight 3-pointers to start the game and send the 76ers to a 9-0 lead. They were ahead by 10 in the second quarter when Embiid was called for a technical foul. After he was called for a foul trying to block DiVincenzo on a drive to the basket, he used the ball to shove DiVincenzo back.

That got the fans into it, booing Embiid profanely, but the Knicks couldn’t make much of a dent in the score until Hart scored seven straight points, with his 3-pointer in transition cutting it to 51-48. It was 53-49 at the break.

Reserves Bojan Bogdanovic and Deuce McBride, who had big performances in Game 1, combined for 11 straight New York points for a 90-82 lead with 7:43 remaining. But Philadelphia battled back to tie it at 94 on a basket by Maxey.

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

Philadelphia 76ers' Kelly Oubre Jr., right, knocks the ball away from New York Knicks' Miles McBride, center, as 76ers' Joel Embiid, left, defends during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Kelly Oubre Jr., right, knocks the ball away from New York Knicks' Miles McBride, center, as 76ers' Joel Embiid, left, defends during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) passes the ball away from New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein (55) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) passes the ball away from New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein (55) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Nicolas Batum (40) defends against a shot by New York Knicks' Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Nicolas Batum (40) defends against a shot by New York Knicks' Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Nicolas Batum (40) defends against New York Knicks' Jalen Brunson (11) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Nicolas Batum (40) defends against New York Knicks' Jalen Brunson (11) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Knicks' Donte DiVincenzo (0) passes the ball to teammate Jalen Brunson during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Knicks' Donte DiVincenzo (0) passes the ball to teammate Jalen Brunson during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein, left, and Donte DiVincenzo, right, defend against Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein, left, and Donte DiVincenzo, right, defend against Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Knicks' Jalen Brunson (11) passes away from Philadelphia 76ers' Tyrese Maxey (0) during the first half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Knicks' Jalen Brunson (11) passes away from Philadelphia 76ers' Tyrese Maxey (0) during the first half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) drives past New York Knicks' Mitchell Robinson, right, and Josh Hart (3) during the first half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) drives past New York Knicks' Mitchell Robinson, right, and Josh Hart (3) during the first half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) shoots over New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein (55) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) shoots over New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein (55) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

PARIS (AP) — Even Carlos Alcaraz couldn't tell you exactly what's been wrong with his right forearm, the part of his body that is responsible for his thunderous forehands — and also is responsible for sidelining him during nearly all of April and May as the French Open approached.

He knows this much: “I'm a little bit scared about hitting every forehand 100%.”

Alcaraz, a two-time major champion, is just one of the top players in men's tennis who enters the year's second Grand Slam tournament with some doubts about what form they will be in when competition begins at Roland Garros on Sunday.

Jannik Sinner, who won the Australian Open in January, hasn't played at all in May because of a bad hip that forced him to pull out of the Madrid Open before the quarterfinals and skip the Italian Open entirely.

Defending French Open champion Novak Djokovic, he of the No. 1 ranking and 24 Grand Slam titles, had only played eight matches since January by the time he lost his second contest in Rome, so took the unusual-for-him step of entering the lower-tier Geneva Open this week to prepare on clay — and lost in the semifinals there Friday to 44th-ranked Tomas Machac.

With 14-time champion Rafael Nadal about to turn 38, just 7-4 this season after hip and abdominal injuries and no longer the near-lock for the title he used to be in Paris, it's anyone's guess what'll happen over the coming two weeks.

Then again, Alcaraz is not taking anything for granted.

“It doesn’t matter (if Sinner is) coming from an injury. I think he has the capacity to come here and play in such a high level and be able to win it. Same as Rafa; same as Djokovic,” Alcaraz said. "Probably we don’t see them playing at (their) best tennis, but it’s a Grand Slam, it’s Roland Garros, and I think they have chances to win the tournament.”

As for his arm, the good news is Alcaraz says he doesn't have discomfort.

Even if the precise nature of what's been wrong escapes him.

“When I do the tests, when I’m talking with the doctors, my team, they explain to me what I have. ... I listen to them, but I forget,” Alcaraz said with his trademark wide smile. “What I remember is they told me that this is not going to be serious, it’s not going to take too much time. But here we are, recovering. I’m not feeling any pain in the practices when I step on the court. But I’m still thinking about it when I'm hitting forehands.”

There is a lot to like about the way Coco Gauff plays tennis, of course. That's why she enters the French Open as the No. 3 seed and the reigning champion of the U.S. Open.

It's not all perfect, of course. And among the things Gauff has been working on lately is her serve, particularly her second serve, in order to try to avoid accumulating the high double-fault counts she's had recently.

During the clay-court circuit that leads into the major that begins Sunday at Roland Garros, Gauff has double-faulted 92 times across 10 matches, an average of 9.2. Hardly ideal.

That total came from 45 double-faults in five matches in Rome — where she reached the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Iga Swiatek — 24 in three matches in Madrid, and 23 in two matches in Stuttgart.

How Gauff fares with that aspect of her game could affect how far she can make it this time in Paris, where the 20-year-old American was the runner-up to Swiatek in 2022.

“I have been trying to improve it with every tournament, from the start of the clay to Rome,” she said Friday.

“I feel like it’s getting better, but it’s obviously a shot that I feel is tough to change just because, when you’re tight or whatever, you kind of revert back to what you know works,” Gauff said. “Sometimes it’s tough to push yourself to do the uncomfortable things which you know in the long term are better for you.”

The first time Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka played each other came at a Davis Cup match in 2005. Murray was 18; Wawrinka 20. When they meet each other for the 23rd time — in the first round of the French Open on Sunday — Murray will be 37 and Wawrinka 39, and each is a three-time major champion.

“I smiled at the draw, of course,” Wawrinka said Friday.

It is a showdown that would have garnered headlines when they were in their primes. Still could draw a good crowd, not so much for what both are capable of these days, but where both have been.

“Should be a brilliant atmosphere,” said Murray, who is recovering from a serious ankle injury that kept him out of action for the better part of two months.

There's this oddity involved with the matchup: This will be the fourth consecutive French Open appearance for Murray that will feature a match against Wawrinka. Murray beat Wawrinka in the 2016 semifinals in Paris, lost to him in the 2017 semifinals, then missed the 2018 and 2019 editions, lost to Wawrinka in the first round in 2020, and did not make it to Roland Garros in 2021, 2022 or 2023.

Murray points to his five-set loss to Wawrinka seven years ago as the final match his hip could take before requiring the first of two operations.

“My hip was in so much pain. I remember, we were staying in a house near here and I remember getting up in the night because I couldn’t sleep. I was just lying on the sofa in loads of pain. Never recovered,” Murray said. “I couldn’t extend my leg behind me anymore properly after that match. It was a shame.”

Murray vs. Wawrinka in 2020 was the first time two men with Grand Slam titles faced off in the first round at Roland Garros since Yevgeny Kafelnikov against Michael Chang in 1999. They'll do it again Sunday.

Howard Fendrich has been the AP’s tennis writer since 2002. Find his stories here: https://apnews.com/author/howard-fendrich

AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine returns a ball to Anna Kalinskaya, of Russia, during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Sunday, May 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine returns a ball to Anna Kalinskaya, of Russia, during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Sunday, May 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

FILE - Britain's Andy Murray, left, applauds for Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, right, after Murray won the semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament in four sets, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Friday, June 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

FILE - Britain's Andy Murray, left, applauds for Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, right, after Murray won the semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament in four sets, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Friday, June 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

FILE - Britain's Andy Murray, right, shakes hands with Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka after their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Friday, June 3, 2016 in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

FILE - Britain's Andy Murray, right, shakes hands with Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka after their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Friday, June 3, 2016 in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

FILE - Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, left, and Britain's Andy Murray pose before their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium, Friday, June 9, 2017, in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

FILE - Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, left, and Britain's Andy Murray pose before their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium, Friday, June 9, 2017, in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

Coco Gauff of the United States, left, shakes hands with Poland's Iga Swiatek during a semi final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Coco Gauff of the United States, left, shakes hands with Poland's Iga Swiatek during a semi final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

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