The Amazing Austin Rivers Game; NY 112 Utah 100

The Knicks were down 18 in the first half, and then got to work. Elfrid Payton and Julius Randle took over offensively midway thru the 3rd, the Knick defense kicked in to an elite level throughout the 4th quarter, and with 5 minutes left — Austin Rivers came into the game and went NUTS — hitting three clutch unbelieveable 3’s to take the game.

How it went down:

1. Payton Owned the Paint

Down by 18 in the 2nd, the Knicks started to inch back with improved defense that helped cause veteran point guard Mike Conley into 3 turnovers. By the half the Knicks were down by 10.

Still down double digits midway thru the 3rd, Elfrid Payton started to take over the game with constant penetrations into the paint for scores, or alley oops to Mitchell Robinson for SLAMS.

Payton owned the paint with his constant penetrations in the 3rd into the 4th quarter — bringing the Knicks back to take a 7 pt lead early in the 4th.

2. Randle Too Tough for Gobert to Handle

Julius Randle powered his way to the hoop all night; Rudy Gobert could not contain him. Randle finished with 10-26 (0-5 from 3, 10-12 in free throws) for 30 pts, 16 rebounds, and 7 assists and a +25. Gobert had 14 pts, 11 rebounds 5 blocks, but a -18.

3. Phenomenal Knick 4th Quarter Defense

Coach Tom Thibodeau had the Knicks playing phenomenal 4th quarter defense. Mitchell Robinson defended the paint — staying out of foul trouble to play a career high 41 minutes; he had 13 rebounds. Robinson and Randle provided tremendous rebounding down the stretch.

But Utah would not go away — they fought back with some 3’s — especially by Jordan Clarkson to pull to within 94-93. A Payton penetration and beautiful runner with 5:30 left made it 96-93 NY.

4. Rivers Takes Over

And then Austin Rivers put on his incredible show:

  • With the score tied 96-96 and 4 minutes left — Austin Rivers hit a BIG 3 to give NY a 99-96 lead.
  • Rivers hit HUGE runner with the 24 sec clock running out to make it 101-96 NY w 3:42 left.
  • With the score 101-98 NY with 3:02 left, Rivers hit ANOTHER BIG 3 — a flat footed set shot off a Randle screen — to put NY ahead 104-98.
  • After a Donavan Mitchell miss, Rivers hit ANOTHER 3 to make it 107-98, with 2:18 left.

Utah crept to within 107-100 but Rivers hit YET ANOTHER 3 with 47 seconds left to finish it – 110 – 100 causing the Knicks bench to erupt yet again and have everyone to rue the fact that the game wasn’t being played before fans at MSG due to Coronavirus.

Rivers scored 10 Knick points in a row. He finished  9-14 (5-7 from 3) for 23 pts, 2 assists, 2 steals.

Payton was 10-15 (5-7 from 3) for 23 pts, 8 assists, and 1 steal and a +25.

Barrett played great all-around ball but had an off shooting night — 4-14 (0-3 from 3) for 9 pts and a +10.

The Boxscore

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