The New York Knicks fought hard but fell just short of snatching victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, losing a season-opening thriller by a score of 108-104.
A back-and-forth game throughout, the Knicks at one point led by six with just over three minutes remaining in regulation after Quentin Grimes drilled a three-pointer with a foul, but timely missed shots and poor perimeter defense led to their demise.
Free throws can be looked at as the deciding factor in this one, as the Knicks shot just 14-26 (53%) from the charity stripe compared to the Celtics’ 22-26 (84%) mark.
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The Knicks’ Stars Didn’t Match the Celtics
The stars of the game for Boston were Jayson Tatum and their star offseason acquisition, Kristaps Porzingis. Tatum scored 34 on 13-22 shooting, while Porzingis added five made threes to go along with 30 points.
The Knicks’ star duo of Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle struggled in this game, as they combined to shoot 11-43 from the field. However, they did get positive contributions from RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, each of whom dropped 24 points. Quickley also went 5-7 from downtown and added six rebounds and four assists to his tally.
Overall, as a team, New York shot 37% from the field and 44% from three. It felt as though they struggled to find high percentage looks for most of the night, as Boston’s suffocating defense proved too much for them.
Coming into this game, the Knicks were up against the odds, and while they had a better second half, their inability to close out games is clearly still an issue. They will have to clean up their mistakes at the free throw line and late-game shot selection if they want to bounce back in the next game.
The Knicks will look to get their first win of the season when they take on the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.
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