Knicks run circles around Suns for 2nd straight win

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks
Jan 2, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) dunks in the first quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

New year, new winning streak.

The New York Knicks ran circles around the Devin Booker-less Phoenix Suns, 102-83, Monday afternoon at Madison Square Garden to notch their second straight win.

The win also snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Suns.

Julius Randle was serenaded with MVP chants, while Jalen Brunson returned from a sore right hip and picked up from where he left off as the duo paced the Knicks in the huge win to start the new year.

Randle continued his resurgence with 28 points, 11 in the opening quarter, that set the tone for the rout. The former All-Star forward added 16 rebounds and six assists in a brilliant all-around play.

Brunson dominated Chris Paul in the marquee backcourt matchup, tallying 24 points and six assists against only two turnovers. Paul was a game-worst minus-38 as he hit only 4 of 11 field goals for a putrid 11-point and two-assist performance.

The Knicks held the Suns to 11 points in the opening quarter, the fewest points they have surrendered in a single quarter this season. They were never seriously threatened after a 10-0 run in response to the Suns scoring the first four points of the game had them leading by double digits.

Immanuel Quickley also continued his remarkable run as a starter, dropping 15 points on 50 percent shooting. The spitfire guard also collected five rebounds and three assists filling in for the injured RJ Barrett (lacerated right index finger).

Mitchell Robinson outplayed DeAndre Ayton, finishing with a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds, one block, and without a single turnover). Ayton, who signed a max extension with the Suns in the offseason, was held to 12 points and five rebounds without a blocked shot and turned the ball over three times.

The Knicks’ defense and ball movement were crisp.

They had 26 assists on 36 field goals and forced the Suns to shoot under 40 percent from the field and just 10 of 37 from the three-point zone.

The Knicks will be looking to win three straight on Wednesday in a rematch against the San Antonio Spurs, who they beat in the final game of their road trip last week.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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