It seems like the Knicks have played nothing but nail-biters over the past week or two, with a few heartbreakers sprinkled in for extra agita. What this team needed was a good old fashioned blowout.
As it turns out, the Washington Wizards were just what the doctor ordered. Washington isn’t good, but they have a star in Bradley Beal and have shown they can be a tough out for good teams. On Tuesday night, however, the Knicks whooped their asses so thoroughly that not even a weak fourth quarter from the reserves could stand in the way of a 131-113 victory.
The Knicks poured it on pretty much from the moment starter Elfrid Payton left the game with two quick fouls (big surprised there). Julius Randle was on fire, scoring 21 points in the first half. RJ Barrett only had 9 points, but he was in total command, dropping 5 dimes and blocking 2 shots.
RJ SWATS WESTBROOK pic.twitter.com/BzRMYztElw— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) March 24, 2021
Immanuel Quickley didn’t play much, but he pretty much ruined Raul Neto’s life.
This Immanuel Quickley step-back @brhoops pic.twitter.com/dgwBcq67Zp— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 24, 2021
New York led by 20 at the half and pushed the lead to 31 early in the third quarter thanks to the hot shooting of Randle, who hit three consecutive triples on his way to a dominant 37-point performance.
Julius Randle with 35 PTS on 63% FG & 7-9 3PT— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) March 24, 2021
Oh and there's seven minutes left in the third pic.twitter.com/WevtrbHXXx
Things were going so well for the Knicks in the third that even Frank Ntilikina was breaking ankles.
Ankles on the menu for the Knicks tonight @FrankLikina pic.twitter.com/SeXbwqmrFM— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) March 24, 2021
The Wiz reserves kept hitting their threes, though, and Tom Thibodeau does what he usually does: Bring the starters back in, even in a blowout. It was dumb, but whatever. It should be noted that Elfrid Payton, who sucked in his return from a hamstring injury, did not return with the starters. Alec Burks (20 points) spent a great deal of time at the point.
Overall, great win. Let’s try it again on Thursday. Recap to come.