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Knicks 121, Rockets 99: Scenes from a bench masterpiece

Rose and Quickley helped the second unit propel the Knicks to the W.

NBA: Houston Rockets at New York Knicks Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks swept their weekend back-to-back by whipping the Houston Rockets on Saturday evening, 121-99. If memory serves me, they hadn’t swept a back-to-back in the previous three seasons. They’ve already done it twice in 2020-21.

While Julius Randle turned in his usual solid game with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists, this one belonged to the Knicks’ second unit. They helped New York take an 18-point lead into the third quarter, but the starters messed around and lost most of that advantage. Head coach Tom Thibodeau turned to Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley, and they responded with a dominant performance.

Rose (16 points, 3 assists) was Mr. Inside.

Quickley (22 points, 4-6 from three) was Mr. Outside.

And let us not forget the contributions of bench bros Alec Burks (4 assists) and Taj Gibson (16 minutes of stout D backing up starter Nerlens Noel). Obi Toppin scored 11 for New York, including this spectacular stuff.

If the bench keeps this up, the Knicks will continue to be a tough opponent. Recap to come.