Barrett, Obi & Knicks TEAM Blowout Charlotte, 121-106

Obi Toppin started at power forward for the 2nd straight game — with Julius Randle out with a ‘leg injury’ after his anger episode at the end of the Utah game — and the Knicks played team-oriented, fast-paced ball all night in blowing out the Hornets in Charlotte, 121-106.

The Knicks passed, passed, passed, and ran, ran, ran. They had 7 players with double figures in points, led by RJ Barrett who had 30 points on efficient 10-19 shooting (3-7 from 3; 7-8 in free throws).

“We’ve been playing well since the All-Star break,” said RJ Barrett afterwards. “But 4th quarter the other team has executed; and we didn’t. Tonite we played well from start to finish. It was beautiful, amazing basketball, and it was fun to be a part of.”

“We have a number of guys who can get into the paint, and when we get into the paint, and spray — we do have a number of guys who can shoot it as well — so when we get in there and trust each other and make the right plays — myself included as well — that’s tough to guard,” added Barrett.

1. Knicks Kept Composure In 4th

The Knicks jumped out to a 40-24 lead in the 2nd quarter, shooting 60 percent from the field and hitting 8 three pointers.

Charlotte made a run in the 4th and when Isaiah Thomas (remember him?) hit a 3 the Hornets were within 8 points with 7 minutes left, but the Knicks hung tough — getting to the line for free throws by Taj Gibson, RJ Barrett, and Alec Burks to keep them up by 10, and then in the closing 2 minutes, back-to-back Obi Toppin DUNKS sealed it.

2. Toppin Dominated

Obi Toppin was everywhere all night; rebounding, defending, intercepting passes; running the court full sprint; slam dunking; hitting 3’s. He finished with 18 points on 8-11 shooting (2-4 from 3), 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and a +19 in 40 minutes.

“He had a phenomenal game today, and he made huge plays down the stretch as well. He’s a live wire, man, he’s so athletic, can shoot the ball, get the rebound and push, and make plays, make decisions. I’m just happy to see him get more comfortable in his own skin recently.”

3. Efficient Shooting for Barrett

And RJ Barrett had a great game as well — 30 points on 10-19 shooting (3-7 from 3; 7-8 in free throws), with 3 rebounds and 3 assists. With his 2nd straight 30-point game, Barrett raised his ppg average to 19.9.

4. Young Guards Looked Great

Besides the 21-year-old Barrett, the other Knicks young guards all played great. Immanuel Quickley continued to play great at the point — 10 pts on 4-9 shooting, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists in 21 minutes off the bench.

And Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride also played well. McBride was 3-4 from the floor for 9 pts.

Old man (29 years old) Alec Burks started at the point and looked good for an old man — 17 points on 5-11 shooting including 3-6 from 3.

5. Fournier Breaks Knicks’ 3-Pt Record

Evan Fournier broke John Starks’ single-season record for Most 3-Pointer’s Made in Knicks History. Fournier was 4-10 from 3 for 12 pts.

6. Sims Starts as Robinson Out

Jericho Sims started as Mitchell Robinson was out with lower back soreness. Sims played 26 minutes with 10 points on 5-5 shooting. Taj Gibson played great as first man off the bench — 12 points on 4-5 shooting.

The Boxscore

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