Knicks Own City; Brooklyn Wins Game — Oct 25, 2019: Brooklyn 113 NY 109

An encouraging, excruciating, same-old-thing loss — the Knicks played great D to get back into the game, and were led offensively by the tour-de-force scoring of Allonzo Trier in the 3rd and early 4th quarters to pull within 10. Then Wayne Ellington came in to hit three BIG 3’s in the middle of the 4th to give the Knicks a 1-point lead with 3:56 left. RJ Barrett‘s steal and full court drive in traffic gave the Knicks a 3-pt lead with 3:41 left.

But alas the Knicks could not put the game away, with several key shots rolling in and out, combined with bad offensive moves by Julius Randle and Marcus Morris down the stretch. They gave the Nets a chance and Kyrie Irving accepted the opportunity — hitting a step back 3 with 22 seconds left to give the Nets the lead and the old ballgame.

RJ Barrett — terrific throughout — stole the ball from Kyrie Irving in the lane with 3:40 left and drove the court the other direction for a right-handed layup in traffic to give the Knicks a 109-106 lead.

But then:

  • With 3 minutes left Barrett rolled to the hoop but his layup rolled in and out, keeping the score 109-106 Knicks.
  • At 2:28 left Wayne Ellington came off another screen but this time missed a 3, and the score stayed 109-106 Knicks.
  • At 1:50 left, Julius Randle spun in the lane but missed a layup, and the score stayed 109-106 Knicks.
  • At 1:15 left, Wayne Ellington was called for traveling, and the score stayed 109-106 Knicks.
  • With 39 seconds left, Marcus Morris spun iso and missed a 26 foot jumper — the score stayed 109-108 Knicks.
  • With 11 seconds left and the Nets now leading after Kyrie’s 3, Julius Randle spun inside and spun the ball off his foot out of bounds.

Allonzo Trier was not in the game down the stretch, after his explosive scoring in the 3rd and early 4th — Fiz was going with the hot hand of Wayne Ellington. With perfect hindsight, perhaps the Knicks should have gone with a 3-guard lineup (Trier, Ellington, Barrett, with Morris and Randle). Some on Knicks Twitter were saying Elfrid Payton the point guard should have been in at the end to orchestrate. Most of Knicks Twitter were calling for Fizdale’s head for bad play calling down the stretch.

Kevin Knox helped Trier bring the Knicks back in the 3rd. He hit 3 after 3 — finishing with a super-efficient 16 points on 5 for 8 shooting, 4-4 from 3, 2-2 from the free throw line, in 29 minutes.

The Knicks missed a lot of free throws — Allonzo Trier, normally an 80 percent free throw shooter, was 7-11, RJ Barrett was 0-3 from the free throw line, and Julius Randle 4-7. The missed free throws contributed to the loss, but the main reason was the poor offensive plays run down the stretch, lack of execution, and then those balls that rolled in and out.

It Is Knicks’ City

Before the game Kyrie Irving said the Nets were taking over the city. During the game he was loudly booed by an audience that seemed to be 40 percent Knick fans. After the game he said the players don’t care about the rivalry — it is a fan thing.

There was an altercation in the 2nd quarter when Kyrie Irving lost the ball under the basket and Bobby Portis aggressively put his mitts on it while Kyrie was on the ground holding it — and Taurean Prince came in and pushed Portis from behind. The scuffle ended with dueling T’s and a jump ball and no further incident.

Etcetera

Mitchell Robinson played mostly well — but got into foul trouble late, and didn’t play down the stretch. He finished with 6 pts on 3-4 shooting, 1 block, 6 steals, and 7 rebounds in 17 minutes.

The Boxscore

https://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=401160661

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