With 23 seconds left on the clock, the New York Knicks had an opportunity to put away the Minnesota Timberwolves after Patrick Beverley missed one of two free throws. Needing just a two-point shot, Alec Burks heaved up a three-point attempt to try and win the game, having missed his previous two attempts and scoring zero points in the first three quarters.
Burks’s shot bounced off the rim into Minnesota arms, dropping the Knicks below .500 for the second time this season after enjoying a three-game win streak that the Charlotte Hornets broke on Monday afternoon.
Once again, the Knicks stare themselves in the face wondering what they could’ve done differently. Performing better in the fourth quarter would’ve been a good start after posting 40 points in the third quarter against the Timberwolves.
The Knicks’ starters performed admirably on the evening, with Julius Randle recording 21 points, nine assists, and nine rebounds. He missed all four of his three-point attempts but also contributed four blocks and two steals. Randle was far from the problem in the loss, as the bench contributed a combined 18 points on 14 attempts from the field.
After starting the new year on fire, RJ Barrett came crashing back down to earth on Tuesday evening, recording a game-high seven turnovers. While he did add 17 points to the Knicks’ 110 total, his lackluster ball-handling cost the team multiple opportunities to put points on the board. Barrett has earned a down game after recording three 30+ point contests to open 2022.
As a whole, New York shot a measly 31.6% from three-point range but did record 44 rebounds compared to Minnesota’s 38. The turnovers were the difference, as the Knicks piled on 18 and the Timberwolves posted just 12.
One way or another, the Knicks need to find ways to win competitive games at home. If they somehow managed to scrape their way into the postseason, their home court needs to provide an advantage, otherwise they will be exiting early once again this season. The team will look ahead to the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night, a team that has won just 16 games this year and lost two consecutive.