Former Golden State Warriors' guard benched in late-game playoff meltdown

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Five
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Five / Elsa/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors may have failed to make the playoffs themselves, but a number of former players are still dreaming of championship success amid the first-round of the postseason.

One of those is Donte DiVincenzo who had lit up the playoffs with an extraordinary game-winner in the New York Knicks' Game 2 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers last week. Yet fast-forward to Tuesday's Game 5 matchup and things were far different for the 27-year-old.

Former Golden State Warriors' guard Donte DiVincenzo was benched as the New York Knicks suffered a late-game meltdown on Tuesday

DiVincenzo's production has diminished since the Game 2 heroics, having combined for just 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting from the floor (including 2-of-10 from three-point range) across both games in Philadelphia.

With the Knicks looking to close out the series back on their home floor, DiVincenzo struggled again in scoring nine points on 3-of-10 shooting and 1-of-7 from three-point range. It led to his benching down the stretch of the tense clash, with New York head coach Tom Thibodeau preferring third-year guard Miles McBride in DiVincenzo's spot.

It appeared like the right decision when McBride's jumpshot gave the Knicks' a six-point lead with less than 30 seconds remaining, only for the hosts to give up a four-point play to 76ers' guard Tyrese Maxey immedietly following a timeout.

After Josh Hart split his pair of free-throws, Maxey came up big again with a deep three to shock the MSG crowd and force overtime. Then, despite giving up the first five points in overtime, Philadelphia capped their comeback victory with a 15-4 run to close the game.

Maxey would finish with 46 points on 17-of-30 shooting, just two games after Joel Embiid went for 50 points earlier in the series. The duo have become only the third pair of teammates in NBA history, and the first since Warrior tandem Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant in 2019, to each record a 45+ point game in the same postseason.

It will be interesting to see how the Knicks respond as they head back to Philadelphia for Game 6, but particularly DiVincenzo who was limited to less than 26 minutes in a game where five players saw in excess of 49 minutes.