The tank’s important and all this year, no doubt. But tonight’s game was fun in its own weird way.
The Knicks traveled out west for the late start in this one, and through a roller coaster of a game, pulled out a 119-112 win on the road.
The ’Bockers started the game off absolutely nuclear from deep.
Knox with the hot hand early, two quick corner threes. He hasn’t shot as well from the corner this season, so great to see pic.twitter.com/FI7U4WflZL— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) January 5, 2019
HAND DOWN, MAN DOWN— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 5, 2019
Timmy extends the lead to 15-5 pic.twitter.com/POiTMqsuU8
The Knicks’ first six makes were:
- Tim Hardaway Jr. 3-pointer
- Noah Vonleh 3-pointer
- Kevin Knox 3-pointer
- Knox 3-pointer again
- Hardaway 3-pointer again
- Hardaway 3-pointer again
So, again, the Knicks were en fuego, and ended the first frame up 39-25. The strategy was simple, but the Lakers had no counter — get into the paint and kick out to open shooters. Enes Kanter even made one from deep! Early in the second quarter, that lead ballooned up to 17 points.
Predictably, things leveled out, even against a LeBron- and Kyle Kuzma-less Lakers squad. The Knicks squandered most of their lead before half and only led 63-59 going into the break.
After Frank Ntilikina hurt his ankle in the first half (he’s OK), Trey Burke came in and — while he was still mostly looking for his own shot — flashed more of the Trey Burke of last year than this year’s more diminished version.
Trey Burke with the moves pic.twitter.com/IEiAgToOU0— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) January 5, 2019
Trey Burke bringing his best game tonight. Gets the steal and watch how he tries to draw contact on the finish, something he can mentor Knox about pic.twitter.com/UX16TI3qO2— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) January 5, 2019
Burke would finish with 16 points on 6-13 shooting, and somehow that wouldn’t even be the most impressive comeback performance tonight.
In the second half, the Knicks came out super flat. The Lakers were making their comeback. So David Fizdale decided to turn to... Mario Hezonja? And Enes Kanter? Sure, why not, right?
Well, it actually worked quite well! Hez was an instant spark plug, and looked engaged on both ends.
Look at Mario Hezonja fighting through the screen to make the block, which then turns into Knicks points. pic.twitter.com/AVZwdF2HH6— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) January 5, 2019
And Kanter? Just wow, man. Dude had four blocks! FOUR! And his defense was arguably the best part of his game tonight.
Kanter (!!) with the stuff, leads to two free throws for Timmy after he’s fouled in transition.— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 5, 2019
Peep that dish by Mudiay. pic.twitter.com/DI0BfeTDSl
Hezonja finished with 10 points in 15 minutes, and Kanter had a 16-point, 15-rebound double-double.
Other performances of note:
- Knox had 14 points, continuing his impressive streak of double-digit scoring games, including a game-icing floater.
- Emmanuel Mudiay was atrocious in the first half, but rebounded in a huge way in the second half to finish with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
- Luke Kornet finally cooled off a little, scoring just six points on 2-8 from the field.
There’s more to get into, but Miranda will have your recap in a bit. Go the Knicks!