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Knicks 106, Pacers 102: Scenes from Austin “Big Nuts” Rivers and the defensive stylings of Julius Randle

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What a game!

New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The New York Knicks turned in perhaps their most impressive win of the season to date, going blow-for-blow with the Indiana Pacers for most of the night before pulling ahead late, 106-102.

The Knicks were buoyed in the fourth by the clutch play of Carmelo Anthony Austin Rivers, who hit the Pacers with the nastiest jab-step we’ve seen since Melo left.

Rivers finished 6-9 for 15 points and provided the team with a much-needed spark when he replaced Reggie Bullock, who was stinking up the joint. His three-pointer put the Knicks ahead by two late.

And what followed in the next two possessions was a defensive masterclass. Julius Randle didn’t have it tonight offensively, shooting just 5-16, but he put the clamps on All-Star Domantas Sabonis, especially late. Indy tried to get it to their big man late, and Randle was ready.

The game was still in reach, however, and Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon had been shredding the Knicks all night long...until he tried the cardinal sin of shooting the ball in the vicinity of Mitchell Robinson.

The Knicks would not relinquish the lead thanks to the clutch free-throw shooting of RJ Barrett, who finally snapped out of his funk, leading the 25 points on 8-15 shooting (4-5 from three!). RJ is now 7-8 shooting threes against Indiana and an unfathomable 0-21 against everyone else.

Immanuel Quickley got his revenge on the Pacers, who accidentally injured him in the season opener, by chipping in 9 points on 3-4 shooting.

Lotta heroes in this one. What a game! Alex will have the recap tomorrow morning.