DEFENSE. And 4th-Quarter Heroics. NY 92 Indiana 84

The Knicks clamped down on the Indiana Pacers in the 4th quarter to win going away, 92-84, on a Monday night at Madison Square Garden. NY did not allow the Pacers to score a basket over the final 7:06 of the game — Indiana only made 4 free throws over that time.

Meanwhile Immanuel Quickley ignited the Knicks, with Derick Rose orchestrating, and RJ Barrett hitting some big 3’s. Julius Randle and Taj Gibson added to those three, playing clamp-down defense. Alec Burks was also a defensive and offensive hero in the 4th, as was Obi Toppin.

1. The Finishers

Much had been made about the Knicks starting 5 before the game. Kemba Walker had broken out of a multi-game slump the game before against Charlotte, but the other starters all shot poorly — leading to the speculation that even when Kemba gets his, the other starters are frozen out — get cold — as Kemba comes up and shoots 3’s or scores off penetrations. In this game too, Kemba got off to a great start, but the starters were ice cold. RJ Barrett was 0-6 at the half; Julius Randle and Evan Fournier had similar cold shooting numbers.

But in the NBA, it’s always been said it doesn’t matter who starts, but who finishes. Or as Jason Kidd once said, “I don’t care who starts, I just want to play the final 6 minutes.”

And so in this game, the Knicks reserves pulled even with Indiana in the 4th quarter, with Alec Burks playing phenomenal defense on Malcolm Brogdon and hitting big shots — but coach Tom Thibodeau brought back RJ Barrett for the final 6 minutes for Defense. Barrett had hit 2 big 3’s at the end of the 3rd to break out of his bad shooting night.

2. The 4th Quarter Heroics

The Knicks entered the 4th quarter down by 5 points, but Immanuel Quickley hit a jumper and then a 3 to tie the game at 74-74.

The Knicks were down 2 when Quickley hit another 3 to put the Knicks up 83-82 with 5:03 left.

Derrick Rose hit a Huge 3 to put NY up 85-82 with 4:14 left.

Then Rose hit RJ Barrett for a drive on the break to make it 87-82 NY with 3:26 left.

With NY up 3 with a minute left, Rose drove and hit a runner for an 89-84 lead.

Then RJ Barrett hit the dagger — a 3 from left side with 3:26 left to put NY up 92-84 with 19 seconds left for ballgame.

The Boxscore


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