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Philadelphia 76ers ownership buys 2,000 tickets ahead of crucial Game 6 to prevent second invasion from Knicks fans

<i>Charles Krupa/AP via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Boston Celtic Jalen Brown drives to the basket during the game.
Charles Krupa/AP via CNN Newsource
Boston Celtic Jalen Brown drives to the basket during the game.

By Sam Joseph, CNN

(CNN) — After the Philadelphia 76ers’ Wells Fargo Center was overrun with New York Knicks fans last week, the team’s ownership has taken action to guarantee it doesn’t happen again.

Sixers managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, along with limited partner David Adelman and Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, have purchased over 2,000 tickets for Philadelphia’s pivotal Game 6 on Thursday of its first-round series against New York to firmly establish a home-court advantage.

Sunday’s Game 4 took place in Philly, though traveling Knicks fans packed into the arena and made it feel like anything but a home game for the 76ers squad. The New York contingent serenaded its star point guard Jalen Brunson with MVP chants from the stands and made its feelings on Sixers superstar Joel Embiid very clear before the game with expletive-laden chants.

New York took Game 4 97-92 to grab a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, with Embiid saying after the game that he had “never seen” an atmosphere like it.

“Disappointing. I love our fans, think it’s unfortunate,” the defending NBA MVP said. “I’m not calling them out, but it is disappointing… I’ve been here for 10 years, kind of pisses me off.”

Philadelphia stole Game 5 on the road to leave the series delicately poised at 3-2, with Rubin – formerly part of the ownership group – revealing on social media that steps had been taken to prevent another New York takeover with Philly in a win-or-go-home situation.

“Josh Harris, David Blitzer, David Adelman and I just bought more than 2,000 tix for Sixers Game 6 – we absolutely CANNOT let Knicks fans take over our arena again!!!” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Giving them to first responders, health care professionals and other local Philadelphia-based organizations once we know they’re legit Sixers fans and not imposters!! Let’s go Sixers – we can do this!!”

A masterful 46-point performance from All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey saved the day for Philly on Tuesday, hitting two clutch triples to send the game into overtime and eventually escape Madison Square Garden with a stunning victory.

Only 13 teams in NBA history have successfully overturned a 3-1 series deficit, so the 76ers will be needing all the support they can get from their home fans, from courtside to the bleachers.

Sixers fans, such as South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley, have urged season ticket holders to not sell their seats to Knicks fans.

Game 6 tips off at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Celtics advance to second round, Mavericks one game away

The Boston Celtics completed a ‘gentleman’s sweep’ over the Miami Heat in the first of two NBA playoff games on Wednesday night, clinching a 4-1 series victory in a 118-84 rout.

Boston, owner of the NBA’s best regular season record at 64-18, was missing star center Kristaps Porziņģis due to injury but faced little resistance from a Heat side that has spent the entire series without its postseason hero, Jimmy Butler.

Jaylen Brown and Derrick White each scored 25 points for the Celtics, with sharpshooting wing Sam Hauser adding 17 off the bench and Jayson Tatum scoring 16 to go along with 12 rebounds. Bam Adebayo led the way for Miami with 23 points.

“We talked about wanting to throw the first punch,” White said after the game. “And I think we did that pretty much for the whole series.”

Boston awaits the winner of the series between the No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers and the No. 5 Orlando Magic – which currently sits 3-2 in favor of the Cavs – in the second round.

In the West, the Dallas Mavericks rolled over the Los Angeles Clippers on the road 123-93 to earn a 3-2 series lead.

The Mavs were fueled by a dominant 35-point, 10-assist and seven-rebound performance from MVP candidate Luka Dončić and had five other players score in double figures as they teed up the chance to win the series in front of their home fans on Friday.

It was a difficult shooting night for the Clippers, who ended the game with a 37.9 field goal percentage as a team. Paul George and Ivica Zubac each had 15 points as LA attempts to navigate the matchup without injured two-way star Kawhi Leonard.

The two teams are battling for the right to take on the No. 1 seed Oklahoma City Thunder in round two.

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