The Knicks beat the Denver Nuggets 106-103 to improve to 2-0 on their West Coast tour and 8-7 overall.
Here are the takeaways….
– Julius Randle He had his best game of the season, leading front-to-back with 34 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals on 11-of-21 shooting from the field.
– Randle and Jalen Brunsonwho finished with 21 points and seven assists, led the charge late.
– When Randle made a layup, followed by Brunson’s free throw, the Knicks led 99-98 with just under three minutes to play. Randle’s crowded defense and diving on a loose ball left Brunson wide open to go up through.
– Red Cam he attacked Randle’s layups to cap a 12-0 Knicks run and made five of them. Hyland’s Bones he responded with an and-one and an extra finish on the rim to tie the game back up at 103 with a minute to play.
– Randle’s free throw gave the Knicks a one-point edge. Game Jericho Sims stopped Jamal Murray on a switch on the other end, and Brunson sank two free throws to extend the lead to three with ten ticks remaining. Murray had one more go that fell short, defended nicely by Immanuel Quickley.
– Despite the late goings, Murray looked like his old self with 21 points to lead Denver alongside Hyland. They were without a two-time MVP to lead Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon.
– RJ Barrett who struggled greatly, starting 0-6 from the field, finishing 0-9 from deep for just 11 points and riding the pine in crunch time. Fortunately, Reddish managed to score a masterful feat in two other ways, putting up 10 points, two steals and a block while holding Michael Porter Jr. to 1-for-8 shooting from the field.
– Denver started 9-2, with Barrett pressing early, forcing shots and getting cooked by Murray on the other end. Randle responded with a hot start, scoring 12 points in the first quarter to tie the game.
– The Knicks bench came in later in the quarter and picked up where they left off Tuesday night. Quickley scrambled defensively and on the boards, and Worker Toppin he hit a three and scored on a layup to give the Knicks a 30-27 lead after the break.
– The second quarter was a back and forth affair to begin with. Sims provided another solid defensive performance off the bench, and Roy Roy There were some vintage moments on the way to 13 points. Hyland responded with a few deep threes.
– The starters returned around the halfway point. Barrett continued to miss en route to a 2-for-12 shooting half. Randle picked up the slack, scoring 12 more in the quarter to bring his first half total to 24. The Knicks led 55-54 at the break.
– The third quarter started as more of the same. Brunson hit a few threes and got easy buckets for Barrett. But Denver struck back with a three and a ball movement of their own.
– Quickley once again controlled the game well when he checked in in the third quarter. On the other hand, Bruce Brown made timely plays and finished with 12 points. Denver led going into the fourth, 84-80, after Hyland’s buzzer-beating trey.
– Hyland opened the fourth with a four-point play, and the Nuggets ran out to a double-digit lead early in the period, the most by either team to that point.
– Head coach Tom Thibodeau closed with Randle-Toppin front court, benching Barrett for Quickley. The Knicks fought back within single digits, slowly fighting to get the game out to close it out.
– Thibodeau also continued his shortened rotation, with Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes not playing despite Barrett’s struggles.
What lies ahead
The Knicks continue their road trip when they take on the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Friday at 10 p.m.