A storied N.B.A. rivalry, long dormant and coated in cobwebs, rumbled back to life Wednesday night, with enough tension, tenacity and promise to last deep into the spring.
The Philadelphia 76ers are lording over the Atlantic Division after years of misery. The Knicks, bound in a cycle of perpetual dysfunction, are charging hard down the I-95 corridor, becoming a legitimate threat to the throne.
The power shifted a bit Wednesday as the Knicks outhustled and out-scrapped the 76ers for an 82-79 victory, cutting the 76ers’ lead to three games with their fifth straight win. The game came down to defense, grit and Jeremy Lin’s unwavering self-confidence on a difficult night.