Knicks Comeback Too Little Too Late; Denver 132 NY 115

Denver ran the Knicks off the court in the 2nd quarter to pull to a 27-point lead, before a late Knicks comeback pulled NY back to within 13 points with 6:31 left in the game. It was too little, too late — but just enough to have RJ Barrett back in the game in the last minute, when he sprained his ankle.

1. Jokic Distributes to Sharp Shooters

Mitchell Robinson was out with a bad back that he injured the night before with his monster game against Utah. That meant the Knicks had even less opposition to Nikola Jokic, one of the great centers ever who normally destroys the Knicks.

He was at the center of Utah’s attack in this one as well — so tough to defend and opening up things for other Nuggets. Jokic finished with 21 pts (on 8-14 shooting, 0-3 from 3) with 11 rebounds and 7 assists.

He distributed to the likes of Aaron Gordon (19 pts on 8-12 shooting, 3-5 from 3), Will Barton (an almost identical line to Gordon with 20 points on 8-12 shooting, 4-6 from 3), Jamychal Green (20 pts on 6-7 shooting, 2-2 from 3), and Bones Hyland (22 pts on 6-12 shooting, 4-7 from 3).

2. Randle Played Great

Julius Randle played great again — the 3rd time in 3 games on this Western road trip. He scored inside and out, and passed efficiently like his old self from last year. He had 28 points on 11-22 shooting (3-8 from 3), 10 rebounds, and 6 assists.

3. Barrett Injures Ankle Late

Much was made of the fact that coach Tom Thibodeau had RJ Barrett still in the game in the final minute while Denver had an 18 point lead — and Barrett injured his ankle, limping off the court. Barrett did score the Knicks last two buckets of the game in that final minute to finish with 18 points — and he is averaging 18.0 ppg on the season.

4. Other Knicks

Obi Toppin had a strong game with 11 points in 14 minutes. Alec Burks had 14 points, and Evan Fournier had 21 points.

The Boxscore

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