Man, where do I begin? I’m still a little misty-eyed as I type this. Our beloved New York Knicks now have won as many games as they have lost this season. The .500 record, which had become the Knicks’ white whale in recent decades, has been achieved. All it took was 48 minutes of punishing basketball against their old nemesis, the Indiana Pacers. It wasn’t pretty, but the Knicks walked away with the 110-107 win.
The game looked to be a Pacers runaway win early, as the Knicks looked sloppy as hell and Indy hit a barrage a threes. But these fightin’ Thibodeaus do not quit. They whittled a 16-point deficit down to one and took the their first lead into the half courtesy of a buzzer-beater from Derrick Rose (17 points, 11 assists).
ROSE AT THE BUZZER FOR THE LEAD pic.twitter.com/GGNRGEWkeD— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) February 28, 2021
The Pacers came back to take a lead in the fourth quarter, and the Knicks’ offense was looking pretty damn stagnant. That is when young gun RJ Barrett took over.
RJ putting Indiana in the torture chamber two straight plays... the second one might weirdly be one of my favorite drives of his career? pic.twitter.com/lgcPe8P3NX— The Halfcourt Press (@THalfCourtPress) February 28, 2021
Unfortunately, RJ felt the pressure at the free-throw line late, missing two with the Knicks nursing a 108-106 lead. The Knicks needed one more stop to finally claim .500. And up stepped the longest-tenured Knick, Frank Ntilikina.
Credit Rose for deflecting the pass off TJ McConnell, and Frank for alertly tracking down the steal. Frank hit a pair at the line to ice the game.
Julius Randle once again got the better of his All-Star counterpart, Domantas Sabonis, with 28 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals.
Nerlens Noel was forced to play 41 minutes because Taj Gibson injured his ankle in the first half. He did yeoman’s work on defense and hit a pair of clutch free throws late. Tremendous stuff.
Recap to come. .500!