Give credit to Detroit, who was missing eight players, yet showed some fire and desire throughout. They held a four-point lead over the Knicks at the half, and the favored ‘Bockers looked particularly lackluster.
But Julius Randle went off late in the third quarter, scoring 16 of his game-high 29 points in the period. He was only 4-10 from the field in the first half, and looked frustrated by Jerami Grant, but when the game was on the line, Julius showed up big-time. He also displayed the three-point stroke that helped make him last season’s Most Improved Player, hitting four triples in the second half.
Julius displayed the passion that made him beloved in the Garden last season, demanding Tom Thibodeau take a coach’s challenge on an out-of-bounds call in the waning minutes.
Preseason or not, you can't deny Julius' passion.— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) October 14, 2021
Knicks win the challenge. pic.twitter.com/onW0YlfxhH
But let’s not forget the play of the old man, Uncle Taj Gibson. The 36-year-old started once again with Nerlens Noel and Mitchell Robinson out, and he dropped a cool 21 points. Taj even nailed a late three!
Taj with a triple to make it 21 points for him now. Showing us he can still cook. Rose & Taj really be synchronized on the court. pic.twitter.com/xEc7XxV6JQ— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) October 14, 2021
Overall, not as fun as the first two preseason games, but they can’t all be blowouts. Recap to come.