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#pounditSunday, May 19, 2024

Nick Nurse blames referees for 76ers’ meltdown moment in Game 2 loss

Nick Nurse in a suit

Mar 8, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA; Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse gives instructions during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers let Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series against the New York Knicks slip away in a matter of seconds. Sixers head coach Nick Nurse felt the referees were at least partially to blame for the late-game collapse.

The 76ers lost 104-101 to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City, N.Y.

Philly held a 101-96 lead with under a minute to play but somehow still lost after a brutal 14-second sequence. The crux of the Sixers’ meltdown came when Tyrese Maxey lost the ball on an inbound pass.

76ers head coach Nick Nurse appeared to be calling timeout before Maxey received the inbound pass. But the referees didn’t grant the timeout, which preceded the Knicks making two three-pointers in rapid succession.

Nurse during his postgame press conference addressed the sequence that doomed his squad. The veteran coach was adamant that he had called timeout on two separate occasions but was ignored by the officials both times.

“I called timeout. The referee looked right at me, and ignored me. Tyrese Maxey got the ball. I called timeout again, he ignored me again,” Nurse said.

The Sixers are reportedly planning to file a grievance over the officiating in Games 1 and 2.

The 76ers got huge scoring outings from stars Maxey and Joel Embiid. The Sixers tandem scored 34 and 35 respectively despite both not being at 100% health.

Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson led his team with 24 points but shot just 8/29 from the field. His teammates picked up the slack as all five Knicks starters finished in double figures to take a 2-0 series lead.

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