The Knicks’ starters played a ton of minutes Monday night to just barely lose to the Nets. That game was fun — even for a loss — but it left a nagging question with New York set to play the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday: Would they have enough left in the tank?
The answer, sadly, was no.
The Knicks led throughout much of the night, but the Sixers erased a nine-point fourth quarter deficit and forced New York to hit some late shots to claim victory. For the second night in a row, they could not. Immanuel Quickley missed a three-pointer in the closing seconds, and Reggie Bullock was called out of bounds after New York secured the rebound. Was he out of bounds? The refs called him out and Thibs didn’t challenge, so oh well.
The Knicks shot 14-22 on free throws, which didn’t help matters.
RJ Barrett (17 points on 7-17 shooting) didn’t play as well as he has been of late, but he was certainly better than he was in his last matchup with Ben Simmons, who dominated him on Dec. 26. Julius Randle (19 points on 7-19 shooting, 15 rebounds, 8 assists) really seemed to run out of gas late. Frank Ntilikina has lost the ability to even hit rim on his jumpers, which makes me sad.
Oh well. Recap to come.