Denver 113, Knicks 99: Nuggets go ballistic from three-point range to doom Knicks

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The New York Knicks have lost three consecutive games, starting against a Brooklyn Nets, falling to the Chicago Bulls, and dropping a blowout to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday afternoon.

With the Knicks looking to turn a corner and get back in the win column, Denver went ballistic from three-point range, despite losing seven of their last eight games. After dropping an embarrassing game to the Orlando Magic before taking on New York, they shot lights out at MSG.

Poor perimeter defense and overall play gave Denver a significant advantage, as they connected on 46.5% of their shots from deep and 52.4% from the field. Star center Nikola Jokic finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and a +12 +/-. Will Barton added 13, and Zeke Nnaji posted 21, hitting 5-of-9 three-point attempts in the game.

The Knicks showcased minimal energy and little cohesion with one another, as their morale and confidence continues to drop. Every starter hit double-digit points aside from Mitchell Robinson, but their defense was abysmal, and 11 turnovers don’t tell a full story of how poor the team played.

Among a tough stretch of games, this was a winnable one for New York, who is 5–8 at home this season and have dropped below .500 for the first time. Oddly, opposing teams are shooting incredibly at MSG, as the Knicks fail to close out shot attempts and curate good opportunities of their own.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau needs to find a solution quickly, whether it be a change in combination or discipline. The team is all over the place defensively, finding themselves sitting in the paint with open shooters on the perimeter constantly throughout the game.

Shooting guard Evan Fournier, despite posting 15 points, has been a liability on defense all season, but RJ Barrett failed to get going after missing the loss to Chicago with a non-Covid related illness. Barrett connected on just five shots, missing 6-of-7 times from three-point range.

While Julius Randle did his best to will the Knicks to victory, earning 24 points, he simply can’t do everything on his own, especially if his teammates are wildly inconsistent from three-point range and defensively inept.

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