Knicks Win 7th in Row! 5 Reasons Why NY 109 Charlotte 97

The wins are coming systematically now. In this one, the Knicks jumped out to an early lead but were down 66-60 at the half due to amazing 3-pt shooting by Charlotte in the 2nd quarter. Wally Szczerbiak predicted correctly that the Knick DEFENSE would take the game in the 2nd half. He called it. It’s easy to call it these days.

Charlotte entered the evening 28-28 — a good team that the Knicks are dueling with for the playoffs. But the Knicks won relatively easily down the stretch. They improved to 32-27, their 7th straight win.

1. Knick DEFENSE

Charlotte scored 66 points in the 1st half on that torrid 3-pt shooting — 33 in the 1st quarter and 33 in the 2nd quarter. Charlotte got 31 (THIRTY ONE) points in the ENTIRE 2nd half. That’s how good the Knick D was.

The Knicks allowed Charlotte only 16 points in the 3rd quarter, outscoring them 31-16 to take a 9-pt lead into the 4th. NY allowed Charlotte only 15 points in the 4th quarter, and rolled to a relatively easy win — Charlotte never got closer than 7.

It was a team effort, personified by this defensive play by Reggie Bullock:

PJ Washington off the Charlotte bench was especially RED HOT in the 1st half, but snuffed in the 2nd half — he finished with 26 pts on 10-18 shooting (6-10 from 3), almost all of that coming in the 1st half.

2. Barrett Shooting Star

On the other hand, RJ Barrett, who was 1-8 from the floor at the half — put the past behind him and was RED HOT in the 2nd half — especially from 3. At one point in the 3rd quarter he was 6-6 from the floor.

He finished with 24 points on 8-17 shooting (6-11 from 3, 2-2 in free throws) and a +9.

3. Heady Play from Rose & Payton

Elfrid Payton played well early; Derrick Rose played well late. Rose led the Knicks throughout most of the 2nd half, orchestrating, penetrating, hitting the floater — for 17 points (on 8-12) and 5 assists for a +2. Payton finished with a +17 — 7 points on 3-8 shooting and 3 assists.

4. Huge Game for Quickley

Immanuel Quickley kept the Knicks in the game during the 2nd quarter when Charlotte was red hot from 3. Quickley was red hot himself, scoring 17 points on 5-9 shooting (4-7 from 3).

5. Randle Orchestrating

Julius Randle‘s shot wasn’t falling but he “sprayed the ball around”, orchestrating the Knicks — hitting Barrett in the corner for 3’s, or Bullock or Rose. He had 16 points (5-16, 1-6 from 3), 10 rebounds, 7 assists.

6. Taj & Noel Anchoring the D

Taj Gibson played like a German Sheppard in a junk yard. Ferocious. Ripping the ball away from Charlotte players; grabbing rebounds, playing tenacious Defense. He had 6 pts in 21 minutes, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal. But the boxscore doesn’t even come close to showing how well he played.

Nerlens Noel also the Great D — a +16 in 27 minutes, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal.

The Boxscore

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