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Knicks 123, Pelicans 117: Scenes from the game RJ Barrett refused to lose

Wow, RJ.

New York Knicks v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Saturday’s contest with the New Orleans Pelicans had all the markings of a trap game. The Pelicans are bad, and they were missing Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. The Knicks were at the end of a short road trip, meaning they were perhaps looking forward to the flight home. And most importantly, the Magic loss showed this team to be capable of playing down to their competition.

That’s exactly what happened tonight in the Big Easy. What the Pelicans lacked in talent, they made up for in gumption. They pressed the Knicks hard, played a frisky zone defense, and once again the Knicks looked disinterested and sloppy against an inferior opponent.

All but one...Rowan Alexander Barrett Jr. The Chosen One. The Prime Minister of Canada. The Wayne Gretzky of Basketball. When the Knicks mostly played lackadaisical ball, they were rescued by the 21-year-old Barrett, who had the best game of his young NBA career: a career-high 35 points. And 16 of those points came in the fourth quarter, when Barrett refused to let the Knicks succumb to their usual late-game doldrums.


Credit Kemba Walker (who had 19 points himself) for feeding Barrett again and again when the Knicks needed big buckets.

Recap to come. RJ forever!