The New York Knicks overcame a 21 point deficit in the first half to beat the reigning World Champion, Milwaukee Bucks. Showing resiliency, The Knicks snapped a two-game losing streak, falling to the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers consecutively. Milwaukee has lost their last four home games after dropping another to New York on Friday evening.
The Knicks had contributions from a variety of players, but it was their bench who stepped up to provide fantastic defense in the second half, holding Milwaukee to just 35 points. For context, the Bucks enjoyed 38 points in the first quarter.
Three standout players for the Knicks in win over Bucks:
1.) Julius Randle
After a slow start, Randle caught on fire in the second half, finishing with 32 points, four assists, and 12 rebounds. Randle shot 50% from the field, hitting 11 shots over 33 minutes. After a quiet last few games, Julius seemed invigorated and confident every time he was on the floor, giving maximum effort and getting his team back in the win column.
The Knicks needed a performance like this from their All-Star, and he contributed heavily to the victory.
2.) Derrick Rose
Veteran PG Derrick Rose always shows up when the team needs him most, and he helped spark a full turnaround in the second half, adding 23 points, four assists, and eight rebounds in the win.
He shot 10-of-18 from the field and earned a +31 +/-, the highest of any Knick. Rose seems spry and quick with his decision-making, and while some might mention he looked like his vintage self, Rose seems to be playing fantastic basketball whenever called upon, which is part of the reason Tom Thibodeau helped sign him to a three-year extension.
3.) RJ Barrett
Young guard RJ Barrett piece together his fifth consecutive game with 20 or more points, shooting 8-of-21 from the field and contributing three assists and seven rebounds. Barrett wasn’t only great on defense, he moved the ball well in transition and found teammates effectively as a facilitator, taking what the defense was giving him.
Barrett continues to blossom before our eyes, and he has undoubtedly been the Knicks’ best player over the past few games. If he can continue to play at this level and show consistency, he could be in the running for his first All-Star appearance.