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T.J. McConnell.

T.J. McConnell makes 76ers franchise history with triple-double off the bench

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The Philadelphia 76ers secured a fourth consecutive win on Monday night as they easily overcame the New York Knicks 108-92 at home.

The win sees them improve to 29-25 and move to the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, leapfrogging the slumping Miami Heat.

Philly had six players in double figures - led by Dario Saric who posted 24 points - but the night belonged to T.J. McConnell.

The point guard made franchise history as he became the first Sixers player to notch a triple-double off the bench.

The 25-year-old put up 10 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in the victory and it was also the first triple-double of his career.

"It was amazing. I'm happy for him and I'm glad that he did it. If we want to go where we want to, he'll be one of those reasons," teammate Joel Embiid said of McConnell, per ESPN.

"He comes in and plays with great energy; he hypes the crowd up. Defensively, he was great, and he moves the ball well."

McConnell was not far off a quadruple-double as he also recorded a career-high six steals on the night.

The loudest cheer inside the Wells Fargo Center was reserved for the pesky guard as the crowd exploded into celebration when he grabbed the rebound he needed to get the triple-double in the final minute of the game.

His teammates also had a jubilant reaction on the bench and were visibly delighted for him. After the game, McConnell joked that Embiid was continuously encouraging him to look for that final rebound.

"Well, Joel just wouldn't let it go," McConnell said. "Just after a rebound or an assist he kept telling me, and then when I had nine rebounds he was saying, 'Get another one' -- and someone went up and blocked out the big guy, and it just kind of fell into my hands. It was like it was in slow motion."

The Pittsburgh native becomes the 25th player to post a triple-double off the bench since 1963-64, according to Basketball-Reference.com.

He joined Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent in 2015 but has become an important member of the team through his efforts, particularly on the defensive end.

"You respect him, you really respect him. He just plays so hard," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "He's a wonderful lesson for so many basketball players in relation to what determination, perseverance, toughness can bring you to.

"We've seen him grow; he continues to get better, and tonight he was incredible."

Since Christmas Day, the 76ers have the best record in the east as they've gone 15-7 over that stretch.

Their number one goal is to reach the playoffs this season and if they continue in this vein, it's something that they will surely achieve.

Topics:
NBA
Allen Iverson
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers
T.J. McConnell

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