Couldn’t Get It Done. 5 Reasons Why Sacramento 103 NY 94 on 1/22/21

In the second game of a back-to-back on the West Coast, the Knicks couldn’t get it done against the 5-10 Sacramento Kings on a Coronavirus Friday night in Sacramento. The Knicks had just beaten Golden State solidly the night before, and looked like a team that was perhaps a bit tired, perhaps a bit not hungry enough.

How it went down:

1. Couldn’t Finish

The Knicks:

  • started off sluggishly,
  • got back into the game and took the lead in the 2nd quarter — led by the reserves,
  • looked sluggish in the 3rd when Sacramento outscored them 27-18 to take a  76-72 lead,
  • fell behind more at the beginning of the 4th, trailing by 9 points with 7 minutes left, and
  • got back into the game courtesy Julius Randle — who scored 7 straight points for them to pull NY to within 89-87 with 4 minutes left.

But the Knicks couldn’t finish, as De’Aaron Fox (free throws and a dunk), Harrison Barnes (free throws), Tyrese Haliburton (a 3-pointer), and Richaun Homes (a field goal) all scored and the Knicks kept missing — Haliburton blocked an Alec Burks shot and Holmes blocked an Elfrid Payton layup amidst other NY missed shots. And that was ballgame.

2. Sacramento Swarmed Randle All Night

Knicks didn’t sustain the spacing they needed when Randle was getting swarmed, according to coach Tom Thibodeau after the game. Randle still finished with 26 pts on 8-17 shooting (0-4 from 3, 10-11 in free throws), 15 rebounds, and 4 assists.

3. Another Good Night for Barrett

RJ Barrett looked good start to finish again. He was hitting his 3-pt jumper, and his free throws — the two weaknesses he had last year. He finished 8-17 (2-2 from 3, 3-3 in free throws) for 21 pts, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. He is a big (listed 6-6 looks 6’7), athletic body who is terrific at driving to the basket and scoring in a variety of ways while absorbing contact, with either his right or left (favored) hand, plays good defense and is a terrific rebounder. A star on the rise.

The Boxscore

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