The New York Knicks overcame the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night 123-117, marking their third consecutive win. The Knicks have now defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls, and Pelicans in consecutive games, with a similar trend of elite three-point shooting.
While star power forward Julius Randle has failed to pad the stat sheet with points, heâ€™s found different ways to impact the game, whether it be rebounding or assisting his teammates as a facilitator.
However, the Knicks once again brought this game to the end, showing resiliency but failing to put away a game they led by 16 at one point. As a team, the Knicks shot 57.6% from 3-PT range, hitting 19 shots.
Three main takeaways in Knicks’ win over Pelicans:
1.) RJ Barrett is on fire
Third-year guard RJ Barrett has had back-to-back stellar performances, posting 35 points, six assists, and seven rebounds in the win over New Orleans. Barrett featured in 35 minutes, shooting 12-of-18 from the field and connecting on 6-of-8 three-point attempts.
Barrett is not only offering elite defense over the past few games but has contributed fantastic scoring production, helping his team significantly down the stretch.
After a slow start to the year, Barrett has picked up his game in a big way, showcasing his improvements in year three.
2.) Evan Fournier’s offensive contributions
The Knicks took a bit of a risk signing Evan Fournier to a four-year contract, letting Reggie Bullock go in free agency, but it has paid off in dividends so far.
Fournier posted 19 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field and 5-of-8 shooting from range in the win, also contributing two assists, two steals, and a block. Without Fournierâ€˜s increased offensive production, the Knicks will be looking at a different scoreline this year â€” his ability to create opportunities for himself and open up the floor for his teammates has proved to be essential.
3.) Kemba Walker can’t miss from deep
Newly acquired point guard Kemba Walker has been elite from three-point range this season, contributing 19 points on Saturday evening. Adding four steals as a defender, he hit 4-of-7 from three and 6-of-11 from the field. Primarily, Walker is not known as a quality defender, but he used his sleight-of-hand and quickness to contribute.
Prior to this game, Walker was shooting 58% from the field from three, increasing that number even further in the victory.