While the New York Knicks haven’t exactly been the consummate road team this season, they were able to stop a three game skid and halt the tank for a few more days by picking up a 119-104 victory against their crosstown “rivals” at the Barclays Center.
The Knicks got off to a positive start as they shot well in the first half and lead by 10 at the break.
The third quarter was mostly a dull slog, filled with ineffective half-court offense and fouls on seemingly every possession. Brooklyn specifically benefited from the tight officiating, shooting 20 free throws and scoring 39 points in the quarter to cut the Knick lead to 83-81 heading into the final 12 minutes.
In the fourth quarter, New York got off to a hot start and was able to thwart the Brooklyn rally. The Knicks scored the first eight points of the quarter and tightened things up on the defensive end, capitalizing on some careless Nets turnovers and turning those mistakes into easy buckets in transition en route to a much-needed victory.
—The biggest positive development from tonight’s game was the performance of Kristaps Porzingis. Knowing that the Knicks were without the services of Tim Hardaway Jr. for the game, the Unicorn took matters into his own hands. Porzingis finished with 26 points and nine rebounds on 8-14 shooting in what was easily one of his best games in (what felt like) ages.
—The other star of the day was Frank Ntilikina. The French Prince of New York emerged from his recent slump and had one of his best performances of the year. Frank Nitty did most of his damage in the second half, finishing with 10 points, seven boards and 10 assists and was arguably the primary catalyst for the Knicks dominance over the Nets in the fourth quarter.
—The other important news in this game was the debut of Trey Burke, the former top 10 pick who has been lighting up the NBA G-League, averaging 26.6 points per game on 49% shooting for the Westchester Knicks.
The newest addition to the Knicks entered the game with nine minutes left in the second quarter and promptly hit his first shot as a member of New York’s team. Burke would finish with five points and a pair of assists in just eight minutes of game action.
— Courtney Lee is now tied with Chris Duhon for most consecutive free throws made in a Knicks uniform, with 44. Lee has been having a career year so far, averaging just under 14 points per game while shooting a league-leading 96.1% from the foul line.
—Lastly, the Knicks bench had 70 points tonight. I’d say that’s pretty ideal