In a back-and-forth game that came down to the wire, the New York Knicks were able to make tough shots in big spots down the stretch, despite the absence of a resurgent RJ Barrett. Ruled out with a migraine before tip-off, the Knicks would need to turn to their big two from last season to put up a big performance, and they delivered. Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle would both go for over 20 points, spearheading an attack from beyond the arc.
The Knicks would once again give Trae Young fits, and the team would be able to climb above .500 on the season as they just narrowly escaped Atlanta with their second road win of the season against the Hawks.
Knicks Get Back in the Win Column Led by Julius Randle
Julius Randle hasn’t gotten off to his best start, and while the counting stats haven’t been too far off, the efficiency has plummeted. Tonight’s game would be a challenge for the Knicks, who were beaten badly by the Celtics and looked to rebound and keep the momentum from their three-game winning streak alive, and Randle made sure they’d be riding high after tonight’s game. He’d score 29 points on 50% shooting, hitting three of his five attempts from beyond the arc and adding 10 rebounds and eight assists.
With the game tied 110-110 following three clutch free throws from Trae Young, Randle would go inside for a bucket to make it 112-110, and following a missed free throw by Young, he’d grab the board and secure a Knicks’ possession that would turn into a smooth make from Jalen Brunson to extend their lead to 114-111. Entering tonight’s game, Randle was averaging 24.5 points per game with 10 rebounds and a positive plus-minus and led the Knicks tonight at +12.
Jalen Brunson would show up late in the fourth quarter, finishing his night with 24 points on 8-19 shooting (42.1%), but going six for 10 from three-point range, adding eight assists and giving New York a much-needed presence from deep. While Quentin Grimes would end up exiting the game early with a left-hand injury, he’d add 11 points of his own on 40% shooting, including three makes from deep on seven attempts.
Immanuel Quickley, who has been the Knicks’ steady offensive presence off the bench, gave the team 20 points on six of 11 shooting with three of five from deep, and he continues to be an efficient volume scorer. Isaiah Hartenstein added 11 points on five of nine shooting, grabbing four boards as well. Mitchell Robinson led the Knicks in rebounds on the night (15) which comes to the surprise of absolutely nobody, as he’s been an absolute terror on the glass for opposing teams.
He bullied Atlanta in the paint, as the Knicks out-rebounded Atlanta 42-30, and the Knicks would also win the three-point differential. Atlanta went 12-31 from three (38.7%) but the Knicks were automatic, going 16-34 (47.1%) and giving the Knicks big buckets that would prove to be vital down the stretch. New York climbs to 6-5 on the season, with four wins in their last five contests, and looking more like the team we saw after the trade deadline last year.
They’ll continue their road trip with a matchup against the Washington Wizards on Friday night, and hopefully we’ll have updates on both Quentin Grimes and RJ Barrett by then.