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.
Absolutely FILTHY double fake by Rivers from a standstill puts McDermott on skates for an open 3 pic.twitter.com/JrJsfhCeYg— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) January 3, 2021
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.
MAKE YOUR SHOT AND TALK YOUR SHIT AUSTIN ️ ️ pic.twitter.com/GbF2rmdpaY— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) January 3, 2021
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.
JULIUS WITH THE STEAL AND SLAM pic.twitter.com/qifl6dYhwb— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) January 3, 2021
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.
DO NOT SHOOT JUMPERS AROUND MITCHELL ROBINSON pic.twitter.com/8WPPFdea2g— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) January 3, 2021
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.
IQ floaters are so beautiful pic.twitter.com/1DI3BGARRz— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) January 3, 2021
Lotta heroes in this one. What a game! Alex will have the recap tomorrow morning.