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ABOUT THE 76ERS (14-18): Embiid was still bothered by a sore lower back in Saturday’s loss and he picked up a technical foul as frustrations began to bubble up.”He wants to do so much more and he can’t,” coach Brett Brown told reporters of Embiid. “He just hasn’t practiced or, recently, played. There was a rhythm and a fluid side of his game that he was searching for.” Fellow youngster Ben Simmons was held to 10 points on 5-of-13 shooting in the loss, his first outing during the losing streak in which he shot below 50 percent.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (17-15): Although he needed 28 shots to get there, Kristaps Porzingis’ 29-point effort in Friday’s loss was a positive step for the 7-3 star, who missed two games due to a groin injury before going 0-for-11 from the floor in a win over the Boston Celtics on Thursday. The Knicks were 16-13 before last season’s Christmas Day game but a loss on the holiday to the Celtics kicked off a 1-10 swoon, and Porzingis is hoping for a better experience. “Of course, it’s always fun to play on Christmas Day,” Porzingis told the media. “It’s always a big game. I remember last year we were playing against Boston, it was really fun. We lost the game. But it was a good experience. My whole family is here again. They’re a young team that’s fun to watch and I think we’re the same way so it’s going to be entertaining.”
Can the New York Knicks avoid being upset at home by the Philadelphia 76ers when the two kickoff the Christmas Day NBA action at Noon ET?
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, New York is favored at home today, as the Knicks are getting odds of -3 points against Philadelphia. The over/under total is listed at 208.5 points. The home team has won four straight in this series, but Philadelphia has covered the spread in all four meetings. This is the first meeting this season. Today’s game takes place from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York and will air live on ESPN.