This game was so close to being another bummer akin to the loss to the Timberwolves a few weeks back.
The Knicks got out BIG on the Bulls early, getting up by as much as 18 in the first quarter. The game really had all the makings of a blowout, with Julius Randle and RJ Barrett combining to outscore the entire Bulls team, 22-19.
Home rim giving Randle a hand! pic.twitter.com/wrF4PNK6cZ— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) April 28, 2021
RJ off the dribble 3??? Yea I'll take about 20 more of those please pic.twitter.com/MKc6okwkiJ— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) April 28, 2021
RJ's really bringing out the whole bag of tricks so far pic.twitter.com/q7lf1zbesD— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) April 28, 2021
Obi Toppin also got to maintenance crew for a minute, which was a nice chuckle-worthy moment:
A ball weirdly got stuck on top of the backboard, Obi comes through with what will now forever be known as "The old BROOM trick" pic.twitter.com/QoP9D6UwoK— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) April 28, 2021
Then the Knicks... blew it, kinda. Luckily they managed to get their shit together in the fourth quarter, but the second and third basically consisted of them conceding leads, recovering enough to get up by 7-8 points again, conceding the lead again... rinse, repeat. It wasn’t a fun time to see a team that you just know is way better than the other team playing sloppy just because they thought they could get away with it.
Still, even during the generally unenjoyable middle two quarters, there were some fun moments:
Extremely smooth finish by pic.twitter.com/5u8toqFkDJ— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) April 29, 2021
Then the fourth quarter rolled around, and after playing a largely bad game up until that point, the Knicks’ bench erupted to start the run that would eventually put the Bulls away. More specifically, Immanuel Quickley turned it on — 11 of his 13 points came in the fourth, and spurred a 15-2 Knicks run.
Quickley getting going could be just the elixir this team needs pic.twitter.com/4QSpGVHa2C— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) April 29, 2021
QUICKLEY FROM THE CHASE LOGO pic.twitter.com/ay4wgfv03W— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) April 29, 2021
FOURTH QUARTER IQ HAS RETURNED pic.twitter.com/8HxyjqBv8B— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) April 29, 2021
Not to be outdone, though, Obi Toppin stole the show with the two most breathtaking highlights of the night:
That run helped put the Knicks back up by double digits, and the starters put the game away, with Randle scoring another eight points down the stretch and Nerlens Noel putting the caps on a five-block, four-steal defensive masterpiece.
Nerlens Noel: Star in his role. pic.twitter.com/13jmdHSu91— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) April 29, 2021
And with that, the Knicks hopefully started a new winning streak. They’ve got what feels like an eternity to get ready — they’re not back at it until Sunday against the Rockets, the start of a crucial six-game west coast swing down the stretch run of the season.
Enjoy this one, the Knicks have now won 10 of their last 11 games. Miranda has your recap in a bit.