RJ Barrett & the Defense Leads the Way. NY 108 Dallas 85

RJ Barrett scored 32 points — his second straight 30-point-plus game — and the Knicks defense clamped down to lead the Knicks to a 108-85 win over Dallas at Madison Square Garden. Dallas was without Kristaps Porzingis but had won 6 games in a row without him, most recently drubbing Chicago and crushing Golden State.

1. Barrett Leads

RJ Barrett was aggressive from the beginning and took it to Dallas with his bully-ball moves to the basket, drives to the basket then pullup jumpers, or 3’s. He had 32 points on efficient 13-22 shooting (including 4-7 from 3 and 2-2 from the free throw line), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and a +22.

Defensively, he was matched against Luka Doncic for much of the evening and shut him down — Doncic was 8-23 (1-9 from 3) for 21 points and a -24 in 36 minutes.

2. Robinson a BEAST

Mitchell Robinson played all evening as if he was having fun. Offensively he was 9-10 from the floor, mostly on dunks and put backs — for 19 points with 10 rebounds and 2 blocks.

3. Knicks Defense Suffocates Dallas

The Knicks played a frenetic defense all night, allowing Dallas only 85 points. In the backcourt, besides Barrett, Quentin Grimes played in-your-face defense all night in 19 minutes off the bench.

Mitchell Robinson was at the core of the defense and was helped by Nerlens Noel, who was back and looked healthy, tag-teaming with Robinson in the paint. Noel played 21 minutes and had 6 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Julius Randle, Alec Burks, Evan Fournier, Immanuel Quickley, and Obi Toppin were all part of the in-your-face frenetic defense all night.

4. Randle Facilitates

Julius Randle had 17 points on 6-17 shooting, but was a facilitator all night — 12 rebounds and 8 assists. The exclamation point of the evening came with a minute left when Randle was isolated against his man at top of the key, looking like he was going to make a move — but after dribbling for several seconds to draw the D — whipped a pass to RJ Barrett in the right corner for a nothing-but-net 3 pointer, to send him over 30 points (he was at 29 points and the 3 gave him 32 points).


Frank Ntilikina got into the game in the final minute, and hit a long 2 (his foot was on the line otherwise it would’ve been a 3) — drawing a roar of applause from the Madison Square Garden audience.

Afterwards, he embraced RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, his former teammates.

Tim Hardaway Jr, who has found the bench in Dallas — was 1-7 from 3 helping the Knick cause. He was 5-11 overall for 13 points.

Reggie Bullock got 19 minutes off the bench and scored 3 points.

The Boxscore


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.