A Loss Is a Loss. This Was a LOSS — March 6, 2020: Okla 126 NY 103

There are losses, and then there are losses. This was a loss.

The Knicks couldn’t hit a 3 in the entire 1st half. By the time they did — by RJ Barrett midway through the 3rd quarter, the game was over. The 39-24 Oklahoma City Thunder won in easy fashion — the Knicks down around 20 points throughout the 2nd half.

Started Off Good

The Knick starters were leading this game in the 1st quarter, 19-17 — but the Knick reserves came in and gave up the lead and were soon behind 29-22 — the 2nd team couldn’t score; Kevin Knox was terrible; Wayne Ellington was giving them nothing. Allonzo Trier remained on the bench.

In the 2nd quarter, Elfrid Payton was all over the place — penetrating, scoring, penetrating and feeding Mitchell Robinson for a slam. Bobby Portis was a scoring machine. Frank Ntilikina was playing well. NY was down by 3 — 39-36 — midway thru the 2nd quarter.

But Oklahoma City pulled to a 13-pt halftime lead because no one on the Knicks besides those four were stepping up. Julius Randle was attacking but trying too hard and became a turnover machine. RJ Barrett, Maurice Harkless, Wayne Ellington, and Reggie Bullock gave them nothing.

Payton, Payton, and More Payton

In the 3rd quarter — Elfrid Payton again dominated — it was Payton, Payton, and even more Payton — 3 consecutive buckets for the Knicks. But he was getting little help and when RJ Barrett finally hit the Knicks 1st 3 of the game midway through the 3rd, the Knicks found themselves down 17.

Payton & Barrett

Barrett and Payton started balling, at one point doing a give and go for a bucket, causing Walt Frazier to comment “That was a nice little Knick nack — RJ and Payton working the backdoor play to perfection.” You turned around and Barrett had 15 points — he’s a scorer.

Allonzo Trier was finally brought in with 11 minutes left in the 4th with NY down by 19. He had 5 pts on 2-4 shooting (1-3 from 3) in 12 minutes. Mitchell Robinson finished 5-5 for 11 pts in 22 minutes.

Elfrid Payton finished with 18 pts (on 7-12 shooting, 4-4 free throws), 9 rebounds, and 8 assists — yet another game where he knocked on the door of a triple double.

For Oklahoma

Danillo Gallinari had 22 pts; Chris Paul had 21 pts; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 18 pts (most of them after the half), and Dennis Schroder had 16 pts (also most of them in the 3rd and 4th quarters).

But there are losses and there are losses — and this was a loss. Not a good game for coach Mike Miller.

Spike Lee

This was the game that followed the big hullabalu of Spike Lee having an altercation with security about entering through an employee entrance, going on the Steven A Smith show and vowing to not come to a Knick game for the rest of the season.

The Boxscore

https://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=401161574

 

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