Knicks Win Frenetic Home Opener in a Frenzy: NY 138 Boston 134 in 2 OT

In the most exciting and raucous home opener in their history, the Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 138-134 in 2 overtimes on a Wednesday night. The Knicks withstood an early game onslaught by Jaylen Brown — falling behind by 10 in the 1st quarter, but tied it by the half when Julius Randle did some onslaughting of his own in the 2nd quarter. In the 4th it was Obi Toppin dominating, and in extras, Evan Fournier showed off his torrid 3-pt shooting ability.

It was a Fournier 3-pointer with 56 seconds left in the 2nd Overtime that gave the Knicks a lead, 135-134 — one they held onto after Derrick Rose added an insurance bucket on a drive with 22 seconds left and the Knicks defense was unrelenting.

Madison Square Garden was in a frenzy all night — as if it was a playoff 7th game.

Evan Fournier appreciated the fans’ energy:

1. Brown Burns Knicks Early

Jaylen Brown had 25 points in the 1st quarter. RJ Barrett had 0 points. But Barrett was defending Jayson Tatum — and he defended him well all night.

2. Randle On Fire in the 2nd Quarter

But Julius Randle did his own damage against Boston in the 2nd quarter. The Knicks were down by 12 with 7 minutes left in the 2nd but came raging back to take a 52-50 lead on two Julius Randle drives, a jumper, and a 3 — he scored 9 straight points for the Knicks — then an Evan Fournier jumper.

Boston however regained the lead just before the half — 58-54.

3. Barrett Is a 2nd Half Player

RJ Barrett had 0 points for the longest time in the game — but he was playing great Defense against Jayson Tatum. Barrett showed great propensity last year to excel in the 3rd and 4th quarters  — and he did so again in this game. Barrett drove to the basket for a bucket and that propelled him. He followed with two 3’s — his second giving NY an 82-80 lead — after which his DUNK gave NY an 84-80 lead and then a drive and foul the next time down netted 2 free throws and NY was up 86-80 with 6 seconds left in the 3rd. Barrett would finish the night with 19 points, on 6-11 shooting (3-7 from 3).

4. Toppin-Robinson Show in 4th

In the 4th quarter it was the Obi Toppin-Mitch Robinson Show. Obi Toppin driving to the basket for dunks and hitting 3’s.

Meanwhile Mitch Robinson was everywhere underneath — ripping down boards, defending, and scoring on dunks. Robinson finished with 17 rebounds.

When Toppin scored on a drive with 6 minutes left, NY had a 10 point lead.

But Boston would not go away.

Grant Williams hit two 3’s and a Jaylen Brown layup pulled Boston to within 109-106 with a minute left.

Still the Knicks had a 4-point lead with 9 seconds left after a Founier drive. It looked over.

But Jaylen Brown hit a 3 to pull Boston within 1. Julius Randle hit both free throws to give NY a 3-pt cushion — but Marcus Smart tied it with a 3 with 1 second left in regulation.

5. Fournier Show in 1st OT

Evan Fournier took over in the first Overtime. Fournier hit three 3-pointers in the period to keep Boston at bay.

The OT ended with Jayson Tatum trying to go right baseline on Barrett then pulling up in the corner for a very contested jumper that was way off. Barrett playing Great D all evening.

6. Knicks Win in 2nd OT

The final overtime started badly — a Jaylen Brown 3 — but RJ Barrett was right back with a drive and a bucket.

Julius Randle powered his way to the basket for a bucket and 1 with a minute left — the made free throw giving NY a 133-131 lead. But Tatum came right with a spin move in the lane for a bucket and 1 — the free throw giving Boston a 134-133 lead with a minute left.

That’s when Fournier hit his big 3 — with 56 seconds left off a feed from Rose.

Tatum missed a driving layup, being defended well by Barrett, and Derrick Rose then took it to the hoop for a NY 138-133 lead. In the final seconds Boston was furiously trying to jack up 3’s — Tatum and Dennis Schroder taking them but missing — for the old ballgame.


  • Julius Randle finished with 35 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists.
  • Evan Fournier finished with 32 points.

The Boxscore

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