PHILADELPHIA -- The 76ers are having their mettle tested.
After losing, 102-92, to the New York Knicks on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center, the Sixers have suffered four consecutive double-digit defeats.
This time, Evan Turner was limited to just six shot attempts through three quarters. Amar'e Stoudemire had his way with Spencer Hawes and whoever else guarded him. The Sixers (12-25) only managed to score 12 points in the second quarter. For all intents and purposes, the Wells Fargo Center was a home away from home for the Knicks (14-22).
Yes, it was one of those nights for the actual home team.
"Really when you look at the balance of the game, you obviously go right to the second period," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "They had a 32-point period. We had a 12-point period. From that stage on, you are just trying to play catch-up."
They had a tough time catching up with Stoudemire. He came off the bench to finish with a game-high 21 points. The 6-foot-11, 245-pound power forward/center was unstoppable. Stoudemire had powerful dunks on overmatched defenders and schooled them with hook shots around the basket.
He shot 8 for 10 from the field and made all five of his foul shots in 21 minutes of action.
Carmelo Anthony added 18 points, seven assists, and a game-high nine rebounds for the Knicks.
Meanwhile, Turner was a Sixers bystander for most of the game.
The team is at its best when the swingman is aggressive. Turner was just 2 for 6 and had eight points through three quarters. He finished with 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting.
"I just tried to play out the flow of the game," said Turner, whose squad played a night game following the Flyers' matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning at the arena. "I really couldn't move much because the floor was so slippery. Other than that I was just trying to let the game come to me and pick my spots.
"Obviously, I think the hesitation led to bad results. I turned the ball over when I hesitated."
Hawes and James Anderson, who started in place of Hollis Thompson at shooting guard for the second consecutive game, led the Sixers with 17 points apiece.
Coming in, there was a thought that the Sixers were facing the Knicks at the wrong time. That's because New York was finally living up to their potential -- and payroll.
They headed into Saturday's game with a 4-1 record -- with three consecutive victories over the Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, and Miami Heat -- since the start of the new year.
Momentum from those victories wasn't the only thing the Knicks had on their side.
Knicks fans were the majority on Saturday. They drowned out the Sixers fans and seemingly gave their team a home-away-from-home advantage. It's not like they needed it.
The Sixers scored 12 points and made just 5 of 22 shots in the second quarter.
Taking advantage, the Knicks went on an 18-2 run that stretched from the midpoint of the second quarter to early in third quarter. That gave New York a commanding, 56-40 cushion.
(c)2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer
Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.philly.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services