Barrett Leads Knicks Again. 4 Reasons Why NY 102 Tor 96 on 4-11-21

RJ Barrett shooting star led the Knicks to victory with his 4th quarter shooting, again. He is ON FIRE since being trashed by Anthony Edwards of Minnesota a week ago, and being left off ESPN’s list of top 25 players under 25 yrs old. And in general his shooting is way improved this season over his rookie year.

This game was looking like a great Knick win early — with NY up by 16 in the 3rd quarter, then looked like a horrible loss, with Toronto coming back to take a 7-pt lead midway thru the 4th, then ended up being a Terrific win for NY.

5 reasons how this game went down:

1. Barrett Shooting Star

The score was 95-94 with 35 seconds left when Julius Randle kicked to Barrett in the right corner for a HUGE nothing-but-net 3 to give the Knicks a 4-pt lead and, essentially, Ballgame.

It was all free throws after that, with Toronto fouling to stop the clock, and Randle took them all and made them all.

Earlier in the 4th, Barrett hit a crucial bucket to tie the game 87-87 with 5:18 left — the Knicks coming back from the 7-pt deficit.

Barrett finished with 19 points on 7-12 shooting (3-6 from 3, 2-3 in free throws), 5 assists, 2 steals, and a +11. And don’t forget his Defense is Grade A terrific.

2. Randle’s Free Throws

The 4 free throws Randle made in the final seconds as Toronto kept fouling to stop the clock were not insignificant. Randle has become rock steady hitting free throws late in the game, and since he often has the ball in his hands after grabbing a rebound or because the Knicks pass it to him — he free throw shooting has been huge in Knicks wins. He and Alec Burks and Barrett have all become dead eye and deadly at the line at the end of games. Not to mention Immanuel Quickley who is also often on the court at the end.

Randle finished this game with 26 pts on 7-19 shooting (1-8 from 3) and 11-11 from the free throw line.

3. Flynn’s 3 Taken Away

If you look at the play-by-play for this game, you’ll see that Toronto never had a 7-pt lead. But they did — during a timeout a 3-pointer was taken away from Malachi Flynn because refs reviewed the play and saw his right foot was out of bounds. This was huge as the Knicks, down 7 at 90-83 with 6 minutes left, were all of a sudden down 4 — it was a big part of the Knicks comeback. Alec Burks then hit 2 free throws and Barrett made his game-tying bucket to tie it at 90.

4. Knicks Defense

And of course the Knicks DEFENSE was a major contributor to the win. The previous night, Toronto had scored 46 points in the 1st quarter against Cleveland, and 40 more in the 2nd quarter (86 at the half). In this game, they only scored 16 in the first quarter against the Knicks’ D — with NY up 27-16. The Knicks were up 56-42 at the half.

Nerlens Noel was HUGE on the Knicks defensive end — 13 rebounds and 4 blocks it seemed like 10 blocks.

One of the main reasons why Toronto was able to come back was Gary Trent Jr — a shooting star in his own right who Toronto got from Portland at the trade deadline. He had 23 pts on 9-17 shooting and is so tough to guard — he can score outside, inside, and pulls moves out of his hat. Toronto’s comeback was also led by Kyle Lowry (19 pts) who was his usual fireplug self, banging to the basket drawing fouls and scoring. And Chris Boucher an athletic 6’8 skinniest-guy-on-the-court who was MVP in the G League and now plays starting power forward for Toronto, played well.

Toronto was sabotaged by Pascal Siakam, who made several mental mistakes and took some bad shots during the evening — including a game-costing travel call with 11.8 seconds left and the Knicks clinging to a 98-96 lead.

Other Knicks

Elfrid Payton played well in this game early — penetrating and passing. He finished with 11 pts on 5-7 shooting (1-2 from 3) in only 17 minutes — Thibs is playing Alec Burks at the point late in the game these days for shooting.

Derrick Rose had 11 pts on 4-10 in 23 minutes.

The Boxscore




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