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The Sixers have won 15 straight games vs. the Knicks. Will their dominance continue without Ben Simmons?

The Sixers own the longest current winning streak by an NBA team against a particular opponent. But the Knicks reloaded their roster this offseason.

Tobias Harris, center, and the Sixers look to continue their dominance over Julius Randle, left, and the Knicks.
Tobias Harris, center, and the Sixers look to continue their dominance over Julius Randle, left, and the Knicks.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

NEW YORK — The last time the 76ers lost to the New York Knicks was on April 12, 2017.

T.J. McConnell was the Sixers’ point guard and Justin Anderson, Alex Poythress, Richaun Holmes and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot joined him in the starting lineup during the season-ending, 114-113 loss.

The Sixers have come a long way from that 2016-17 campaign, the last of four straight seasons of tanking. They have gone on to post four straight postseason appearances and blossomed into one of the Eastern Conference’s elite teams.

And, along the way, the Sixers dominated no other team quite like they have New York.

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The Sixers (2-1) have won 15 straight games against the Knicks (2-1), posting the longest current winning streak by an NBA team against a particular opponent. Now, when the squads meet Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, a Philly squad with a somewhat new look will attempt to continue the streak against the reloaded Knicks.

The Sixers’ offense has been a work in progress with second-year guard Tyrese Maxey starting in place of Ben Simmons. Meanwhile, the Knicks added firepower with the offseason acquisitions of guards Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier.

The Sixers will still have their eyes on tying their second-longest winning streak against one team.

They defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 16 straight times from April 27, 1999, to Feb. 2, 2003. And the Sixers won 16 consecutive games against the Detroit Pistons from Jan. 19, 1966, to Oct. 24, 1967.

Their longest winning streak against a specific opponent is 17 games versus the Cavaliers from Oct. 28, 1980, to Dec. 16, 1983.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Sixers play against the Knicks without Simmons. He averaged 15.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 7.9 assists in games versus New York while playing in 14 of the 15 games during the streak.

The disgruntled point guard, who wants to be traded, remains sidelined after telling the Sixers he is not mentally ready to play.

Maxey is averaging 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in three starts. However, he’s still adjusting and learning tobe in the right spot to help space the floor for Joel Embiid.

In the past, Simmons would slide down to the dunker position while Tobias Harris, Danny Green and Seth Curry would be on the perimeter.

“Tyrese is new to working certain areas,” Green said. “So we will figure that out, get down the spacing. You know it’s a process. It’s going to take some time, but I think he did fairly well for the most part, and yeah, he’s trying to get better at it and execute it the best he can.”

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The Sixers’ starting unit didn’t have much time to bond during the preseason because of injuries. And it hasn’t had a lot of practice time since the season began. So it’s trying to figure things out during games.

“We’ll figure it out,” Green said. “If not, we are going to have to make some adjustments. It’s coming along slowly but surely so far.”

Knicks reserve center Nerlens Noel, a former Sixer, is questionable for Tuesday’s game with left knee soreness. Embiid (right knee soreness) and reserve center Andre Drummond (sprained right ankle) are listed a questionable for the Sixers.

The Sixers know proper spacing is vital with Embiid being double-teamed on a nightly basis. Spacing provides easy outlets for him to find teammates for catch-and-shoot situations on the perimeter. If they knock down shots, opponents have to adjust their defensive tactic. That leaves Embiid space to dominate down low.

”We were used to having Ben in that dunker area, working the rim, which makes the spacing a lot easier for him to find guys,” Green said. “But with four [players on the perimeter], it’s a little harder and people are able to rotate and guard, too.”

In addition to improving their spacing, the Sixers must try to contain Walker.

The point guard is averaging just 10.3 points through three games. However, he is shooting 57.1% on three-pointers. Walker also has averages of 21.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in 33 career games against the Sixers as a member of the Charlotte Hornets and Boston Celtics.

Meanwhile, Fournier is the Knicks’ second-leading scorer at 19.3 points behind All-Star power forward Julius Randle at 28.7 points.

So this game should be a good test for the Sixers, who were fortunate to have Green in the teams’ last meeting.

He willed them to a 101-100 overtime triumph over the Knicks on March 21 at the Garden while excelling on both sides of the ball.

Green finished with a game-high three blocks and also netted five steals. He scored all 11 of his points during the fourth quarter and overtime session, with six of his points coming on 2-for-3 shooting from three in overtime.