Burned by the Refs. Brooklyn 112 NY 110

In a game that came down to the final possessions — a 110-110 tie with 3 seconds left — Mitchell Robinson fouled James Johnson inside and Johnson made both free throws to give the Nets the win in Brookyn. Evan Fournier had just tied the game with a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left. The Knicks’ coach Tom Thibodeau and power forward Julius Randle were LIVID at the lack of calls the Knicks got, especially down the stretch. Randle was called for a tech with a minute left.

1. Refs Stole the Win from the Knicks

Afterwards the NBA agreed that there were 2 blown calls that went against the Knicks down the stretch, including a foul on a Randle jumper that wasn’t called — that was the final straw for Randle and led to his tech.

In the postgame interview, Thibodeau  was ballistic, and cut short the interview. Before he did, he called out the 25 to 12 free throw discrepancy in the Nets favor; Brooklyn was 22-25 from the free throw line; the Knicks were 11-12 from the line. That was more than the game right there.

Afterwards Randle said he was told by officials he wasn’t getting calls because he was stronger than the defenders and the contact was not affecting him. “That’s not how you’re supposed to referee a game,” Randle said.

2. Randle Terrific Game

Randle dominated all night — taking it to the Nets and Kevin Durant inside and outside, and when he wasn’t scoring he was spraying the ball around, rebounding and defending. He had 24 points on 11-22 shooting, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals in 40 minutes.

Kevin Durant was no slouch — 27 points on 9-23 shooting, 5 rebounds, and 9 assists.

3. Harden With His Best Game of the Year

James Harden had his best game of the year by an order of magnitude. When last seen on twitter highlights the game before, he was tossing the ball all over the place with bad passes and turnovers. Before the game, Harden said afterwards, Reggie Miller — who was a broadcaster for the game on TNT — talked to Harden and gave him inspiration — saying he is a former MVP he should have that in his mindset. Harden said that talk inspired him to have the great game.

Harden had 34 points on 11-20 shooting, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists.

4. Burks 1st Game as Starting Point Guard

Alec Burks played his first game as the Knicks’ starting point guard, after Thibodeau had announced a day earlier that Kemba Walker was not only not starting anymore, but he was out of the rotation.

Burks played 39 minutes and was tremendous — especially early and then in the 4th quarter when he led the Knicks back from a 14-point deficit with his usual shooting heroics.

Burks finished with 25 points on 9-21 shooting (4-10 from 3) and 5 assists in 39 minutes.

5. Knicks Reserves Play Strong

Brooklyn pulled ahead in the 3rd quarter on the play of Harden and Durant, and led by 14 points entering the 4th quarter. But the Knick reserves came in to make their run — Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, and Derrick Rose along with starters Alec Burks and Randle played a high-energy game to bring the Knicks back.

Rose made one of the spectacular plays of the year so far in the 4th.

Quickley had 12 pts on 4-11 (2-5 from 3) shooting; Rose had 16 points on 6-13 shooting (and a +11), and Toppin had 8 pts (on 3-4 shooting) for a +4 in 12 minutes.

Illnesses and Injuries

Before the game both RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson were listed as questionable due to non-COVID-related illness; both played — Robinson played 25 strong minutes and RJ played 9 minutes but left the game in the 1st quarter and didn’t return.

Nerlens Noel was doubtful due to an injury but he played as well — 19 minutes.

The Boxscore



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