Knicks make epic comeback in 108-103 win over the Nets

NBA: New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks would come into tonight’s contest short-handed, as they were without Isaiah Harteinstein, who has emerged as one of the better centers in the NBA. Given the current injury to Mitchell Robinson and their lack of a clear backup at the big man position, New York would need a strong team effort to grab a win, but after a brutal third quarter, it seemed as if they’d drop this crosstown battle with the Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks would need to storm back in the fourth quarter, and they got everything they needed to pull off the comeback win.

Both Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle went for 30 points on the night, and the Knicks snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on the night.

Late-Game Heroics Guide the Knicks to a Huge Win

NBA: New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets
Jan 23, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets forward Dorian Finney-Smith (28) and forward Cameron Johnson (2) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If the Knicks were going to pull off a comeback in the fourth quarter, they would need strong performances from their two stars, and they certainly delivered. Julius Randle hit 52.6% of his attempts from the field for 30 points, adding nine rebounds with seven assists, and while he had some shaky late-game turnovers, his scoring abilities erased the damage. He was simply brilliant for the Knicks’ offense down the stretch, and it’s another stellar scoring performance for the two-time All-NBA forward.

Jalen Brunson would match this excellence with 30 points of his own, hitting 50% of his shots and collecting four assists as well, and these two accounted for over 55% of the Knicks’ points on the night. It’s truly one of those performances that remind you how good they can truly be, as while the Nets have struggled this season in late-game situations, the Knicks needed the pair to be nothing short of excellent and delivered big time.

One could argue that the star of the show for the Knicks down the stretch was OG Anunoby, as the newly-acquired wing was stellar on defense, helping keep the Nets to just 18 points in the fourth quarter. He had four steals and two blocks, going +11 on the court and continuing to be one of the most impactful players in the NBA. It’s hard to argue that this isn’t a game-changer, especially since the Knicks are now 10-2 since his debut.

NBA: New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets
Jan 23, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) and New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) chase after a loose ball during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Donte DiVincenzo would add 11 points on 10 shots, hitting three of his eight attempts from three, and Miles McBride would drill two massive threes of his own, scoring eight points in his 12 minutes of action tonight. While the shooting line wasn’t pretty, Josh Hart (+9) had a positive on-court impact and arguably one of the most important possessions of the night, a testament to how valuable he can be even when he’s not scoring.

Precious Achiuwa added six points and nine rebounds in his 21 minutes on the court, going a team-best +13 on the court, with the Knicks getting points from Jericho Sims (6) and Quentin Grimes (5) as well in the win. New York improves to 27-17 on the season, 10 games above-.500, as they’re just half a game back of Cleveland for the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference.