Sports News

Donte DiVincenzo breaks out of shooting slump in Knicks’ clincher

PHILADELPHIA — Donte DiVincenzo understood and accepted the assignment at both ends of the floor, and he helped propel the Knicks to a series-sealing victory. 

DiVincenzo had slumped following his game-winning shot in Game 2, but he nailed five 3-pointers and two late free throws, while also spearheading the shutdown against All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey in Thursday’s Game 6 win over the Sixers. 

DiVincenzo had missed 14 of 17 attempts in the previous three games after his Game 2 heroics, but he buried two treys in Thursday’s first quarter and finished the game with 23 points. 

“Honestly, it had nothing to do with shooting. I got myself going early in the game guarding Maxey,” DiVincenzo said afterward. “We made that adjustment and I was locked in ready to go. Having a tough matchup like that, you have to be locked in from the very beginning. 

Donte DiVincenzo knocked down five 3-pointers in the win. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“So I think that got me going early. And you know when you’re playing with unselfish guys, you’re gonna get open looks, so I’m never worried about making or missing shots. I think for me it was to be locked in on the defensive end, and that got me going.” 

DiVincenzo had buried 5 of 10 shots and four 3-pointers in the Knicks’ comeback victory in Game 2, but he otherwise had posted a .289 shooting percentage from the floor — including a puzzling .227 from 3-point land — in the other four games entering Game 6. 

Follow The Post’s coverage of the Knicks in the NBA playoffs

In addition to his offensive breakout, DiVincenzo helped the Knicks hold Maxey to his series-low of 17 points on 6-for-18 shooting. 

“Donte, you can’t say enough about his all-around play, the shotmaking, hustle, defense,” Tom Thibodeau said. “Maxey is a load to deal with, pick and rolls, transition, everything. When he gets off the ball, he doesn’t stop moving and you have to keep moving with him. I thought Donte’s effort was terrific.” 

Donte DiVincenzo of the New York Knicks slams the ball over Joel Embiid #21 of the
Philadelphia 76ers during the third quarter. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post
Donte DiVincenzo played a critical role in the victory. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

After averaging 38.2 minutes and registering 21.0 points and 4.6 made 3-pointers per game over his final 35 appearances of the regular season, the 27-year-old DiVincenzo’s playing time and production had dipped through the first five games to 28.6 minutes, 9.8 points and 1.8 treys. 

Reserve combo guard Miles McBride had logged more minutes than DiVincenzo twice in the first five games, with a 21-point performance in 28 minutes in Game 1 and 14 points in 33 minutes in the Knicks’ OT loss Tuesday night. 

But DiVincenzo went the whole way in Game 6 with 48 minutes of court time, with McBride playing just nine minutes off the bench.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button