The third quarter of doom nearly ruined the Knicks’ chances of making any sort of a comeback. The game was knotted at 61 apiece when the Knicks just stopped defending Kevin Love, who hit a bunch of threes. Suddenly, the Cavs were up double-digits. The bench got the Knicks back into the game behind the play of Quentin Grimes (12 points) and Obi Toppin (13 points). Grimes, who was superb, was allow to finish the game out, while Obi was subbed for Julius Randle. The Knicks continued to chip away, though, thanks to the strong play of RJ Barrett (24 points, 5 rebounds 4 assists).
The Knicks tied the game thanks to a driving layup from Randle, and had the chance to take the lead the next time down the court. Randle, however, settled for a janky-ass mid-range J, and Darius Garland (previously 0-5 from three) canned a corner three on the other end. Immanuel Quickley tried to one-up Randle in the dumb shots department, jacking a 40-footer with like 14 seconds left on the shot clock. Barrett got the team back within a point with a pair of clutch free throws (he had previously been 3-8 from the line), and the Knicks had a chance to win, down 1 with seconds remaining. Randle actually passed this time, but RJ missed the three. They got the ball back down two with two seconds remaining, but never really showed any urgency out of the timeout, as Randle jacked up a prayer at the buzzer. Buzzkill.
Recap to come.