Sixers-Knicks 5 Things: Another Thrilling Finish in Store?

The Sixers (22-38) open a three-game homestand against the New York Knicks (25-36) at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m./CSN, CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports app).

Let's take a closer look at the matchup:

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1. Can't take the Heat
Unlike LeBron James, the Sixers didn't take their talents to South Beach.

There wasn't much of a fight as the Sixers were dominated from the opening tip in a 125-98 loss to the Heat on Wednesday. They allowed Miami to shoot 54.4 percent from the field, 43.3 percent from three-point range and force them into 19 turnovers.

"Tonight was a terrible night," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "That does not reflect who we are." 

Terrible indeed.

2. Battle to the buzzer
With the division rival Knicks on tap for Friday night, things should be much closer. If it's anything like the previous two matchups, it will come down to the final second.

In the season's first meeting back on Jan. 11, T.J. McConnell capped off the Sixers' late-game rally with a baseline jump shot at the buzzer for a 98-97 win.

The Knicks got their revenge last Saturday when Carmelo Anthony made a tough jumper over Robert Covington with 0.3 remaining for a 110-109 victory.

We'll see if Friday night's tilt follows the same thrilling script.

3. Glad to see you again
One person that will be ecstatic to face the Knicks again is Jahlil Okafor.

The second-year center had a nightmare game against the Heat. Okafor had six points on 3 for 11 shooting along with seven rebounds in 22 minutes. He also committed five turnovers.

However, the thing that stood out the most was his lack of effort on defense, which reached a new level in the 27-point loss.

That performance was the complete opposite of what Okafor showed in Madison Square Garden last week. He had 28 points (11 for 19) and 10 boards. The big man even hit the go-ahead shot with nine seconds left before Anthony's heroics handed the Sixers a tough defeat.

4. Injuries
Gerald Henderson (hip), Joel Embiid (knee), Tiago Splitter (calf), Ben Simmons (foot) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist) are out for the Sixers.

Willy Hernangomez (ankle) and Maurice Ndour (ankle) are game-time decisions. Joakim Noah (knee) is out for the Knicks.

5. This and that
* The Sixers have a 7-41 combined record in March over the previous three seasons.

* The Sixers have shot 14 for 59 (23.7 percent) from three-point range in their two games against the Knicks this season.

* Kristaps Porzingis is averaging just 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in four career games against the Sixers.

* Okafor has put up averages of 22.7 points and 7.3 boards in three career games vs. the Knicks.

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