The New York Knicks played like butt in the second half against the New Orleans Pelicans, which could have cost them a chance to win their sixth consecutive game. But these aren’t the same ole Knicks — a statement I keep typing lately — and the Pelicans left the door open just enough for some late-game heroics. Cue the veteran duo of Derrick Rose and Reggie Bullock:
The Pelicans have a ton of young talent, but the Knicks have that grit that cannot be measured. They took New Orleans’ best punch, and in overtime they laid a hurting on the defeated Pels. 122-112 is your final.
Our guys looked to be well on their way to an easy win as they took a 13-point lead into halftime, but a couple familiar bugaboos came back to haunt the team immediately after the break: their tendency to get off to slow starts in third quarters and the oft-wretched play of Elfrid Payton. Since Elf always starts the third quarter at point guard, maybe those two things are intertwined.
Anyway, the Pelicans erased the Knick lead with a quick 13-2 run. Pelicans point guard Eric Bledsoe, who was a zero in the first half (and much of the season, really) took Elf to school repeatedly. We’re used to Elf getting abused by Kyrie Irving, but Eric Bledsoe?
Fortunately, Thibodeau trusted Rose with the game on the line, and he delivered with clutch buckets and that magnificent dish to Bullock for the tie.
Nerlens Noel look like he broke his hand trying to block a shot in the first half. Clearly in pain, he went straight to the locker room, and Knicks fans assumed the worst. Not only did Noel return, he made a ton of clutch plays on both ends in the fourth and OT.
Julius Randle didn’t soot it well, but he still led the Knicks with 33 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds. Like Rose and Bullock, he came up big when the team needed it.
Six in a row, folks. Recap to come.