Knicks bench trio thrives in huge Game 1 NBA playoff win over 76ers


Tom Thibodeau went with a three-man bench on Saturday night, and that trio shifted the game in the Knicks’ favor in their opening win over the 76ers.

The trio of Mitchell Robinson, Miles McBride and Bojan Bogdanovic outscored Philly’s bench 26-7 on a first-half turnaround — and 42-7 for the game — to propel the Knicks to a 111-104 win at the Garden.

Perhaps more important than the offensive performance was Robinson’s stellar work on the defensive end, including some of those minutes guarding reigning MVP Joel Embiid.

Miles McBride played a big role in the Knicks’ 111-104 victory over the 76ers. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

The former starting center received multiple standing ovations from the MSG crowd, including earning a jump ball with a draw from Embiid late in the fourth quarter.

The 40 percent free throw shooter made another roar when he sank a pair from the line with 37.1 seconds left.

Robinson, who had averaged 15.5 minutes in 10 appearances by season’s end after ankle surgery in December, played 14 straight minutes off the bench, bridging the first two quarters and then the entire final period.

The seven-footer finished with eight points, 12 rebounds (seven offensive), a plus-20 rating and four blocked shots in 30 minutes.

It was his longest playing time since he logged 32 minutes on December 1.

Mitchell Robinson stepped up when it mattered most for the Knicks. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Robinson threw down a key dunk and recorded two blocks in the first half, leaving to a standing ovation when starter Isaiah Hartenstein replaced him with about two minutes left in the half.

In addition to Robinson’s strong impact, McBride scored 16 of his 21 points in the first half, while Bogdanovic recorded eight of his 23 points in his Knicks playoff debut.

The duo combined for six 3-pointers in the half – going 8-for-13 for the game from deep – as the Knicks won the second 33-12, turning a 13-point hole in the first quarter into a 12-point halftime lead. pipe.

Bojan Bogdanovic reacts after hitting a shot over 76ers Paul Reed during the fourth quarter. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Still, Embiid came back to start the third after limping to the locker room late just before halftime on his surgically repaired knee.

The Sixers rocked the Knicks’ starting five with a 32-14 start to the third to regain the lead, before Robinson and then McBride and Bogdanovic returned to the floor with about three minutes remaining and the Knicks trailing by six.

Bogdanovic scored another trey for an 82-82 tie just one minute into the fourth, Robinson managed a tip-in and McBride drove to the hoop for a two-point Knicks lead with less than eight minutes to play.

McBride also immediately hit a 3 – his fifth of the night – for a 91-86 advantage that the Knicks were able to take past the middle of the quarter.

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