Best Win of Year. Amazing Comeback. 6 Reasons How NY 122 New Orleans 112

This one looked over.

New Orleans had erased the Knicks 13-pt halftime lead, to go ahead by 7 pts with under 3 minutes left. New Orleans led by 6 with 1:48 left. New Orleans led by 3 with 7.8 seconds left.

But Derrick Rose penetrated and fed Reggie Bullock for a corner 3 that was nothing but net with 3 seconds left to tie the game — and the Knicks Dominated in overtime for the 10-pt win — sending the Sunday afternoon COVID sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden first into a frenzy, and then home happy. As well as everyone watching on TV (espn national telecast).


1. Bullock Bullock Bullock

Not only did Bullock hit the big game-tying, last-second 3 — but he had a great all-around game. He hit another big 3 in OT to put the Knicks up by 5 with 1:49 left. He played heady Defense on Zion Williamson all afternoon. He finished with 15 points on 6-8 shooting (3-5 from 3) before fouling out late in OT. It is inconceivable that Knicks fans (like us) doubted his place in the starting lineup all season. Looks like coach knew better all along. His defense terrific, and his shot has gotten better and better as the season has progressed. He has become integral to the Knicks success.

2. Rose Playing Chess While Everyone Was Playing Checkers

On that game-tying play in regulation — New Orleans had a foul to give, which Walt Frazier was saying they would use when the Knicks inbounded the ball. But they didn’t. Rose penetrated — and everyone on the planet watching the game, including Frazier, was wondering what the Heck he was doing with the Knicks down 3. But Rose was playing Chess — Lonzo Ball cheated off Bullock in the corner to run toward Rose — and Rose passed it to the now wide-open Bullock for the 3.

Stan Van Gundy said afterwards that the Pelicans made several mistakes on that last play. Ball was benched for overtime.

Rose had a tremendous game — giving the Knicks penetrating offense all afternoon. He finished with 23 pts on 9-17 shooting, 5 assists and a +22 in 35 minutes.

Rose also played heady Defense and for the 3rd game in a row came up with a key blocked shot — this one on Eric Bledsoe on the last shot of regulation — New Orleans still had 3 seconds left after Bullock had tied it.

Rose penetrated and attacked and scored all afternoon but especially when it counted late in regulation and in OT — it was vintage Rose.


Elfrid Payton played ok — 5 pts on 2-8 in 20 minutes; but it was Rose who led the Knicks in this game.

3. Randle Outduels Zion

In the matchup within the matchup — Julius Randle outdid Zion Williamson again. Both played great ball, but Randle hit the big shots late and in overtime. At times they were guarding each other — especially late and in overtime after RJ Barrett had fouled out — Zion — who guarded Barrett in regulation, took to guarding Randle.

As coach Tom Thibodeau said afterwards, “it was like watching two bulls go at each other.”

Randle had 33 pts (11-29 shooting, 2-8 from 3, but an important 9-10 from the free throw line), 5 rebounds, 10 assists, 5 steals and a +14.

Zion had 34 pts (13-23 shooting, 0-3 from 3, 8-11 in free throws), 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, but a -13.

4. Knick DEFENSE Anchored by Noel & Taj

The Knicks played tremendous defense as usual, with Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson as the anchors. Noel had an incredible block on Brandon Ingram with 2:30 left in overtime — with the Knicks holding a 110-105 lead. Instead of it being a 3 pt game, NY maintained their 5-pt lead and made it 7 at the other end as Randle was fouled on a shot. A key play of OT.

Noel had 12 pts on 5-6 shooting, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks in 28 minutes; Taj Gibson had 6 pts, 14 rebounds and 2 blocks in 24 minutes.

5. Barrett Shined

RJ Barrett had a redemption game. He made up for a terrible game against New Orleans last week by coming out strong and scoring inside time and time again right away.

Barrett was the first one in the game to 10 points. He finished with 18 pts on 7-15 (2-4 from 3, 2-2 in free throws), 4 rebounds, 2 assists and terrific Defense in 35 minutes. As mentioned, New Orleans switched Zion to defending Barrett in the 2nd half to try and contain him.

Barrett fouled out late in regulation; the Knicks put Immanuel Quickley in for him, and later Frank Ntilikina for defense in OT — especially after Bullock also fouled out.

6. Bledsoe Led New Orleans

The reason why New Orleans came back in this game was not Zion Williamson or Brandon Ingram — but Eric Bledsoe, who made up for a poor 6-pt performance last week with a terrific performance in the 2nd half. He led the Pelicans back with penetrations and 3-pt shots; finished with 22 pts on 8-20 shooting (3-9 from 3) with 4 assists.

Steve Adams also gave the Knicks fits especially in the 1st half with a big inside game — grabbing offensive rebounds and scoring some inside. He had 14 rebounds and 10 pts.

The Boxscore


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