Couldn’t Stop Them. Oklahoma City 145 NY 135

Cam Reddish put on a Show. The Cam Reddish Show.

The Knicks scored 48 points — IN THE 1ST QUARTER! — breaking their all-time record. But they couldn’t shake the Oklahoma City Thunder, which hung right with them and by the 2nd half blew them off the court.

The Thunder ripped away at a 70 percent shooting clip all game. They did NOT kill the Knicks from 3 — although they did shoot 17-31 from there. Their assault was one of hitting shot after shot from everywhere on the court.

By the 3rd quarter the Knicks were down by 18. NY battled back but could not pull closer than 10 points in the 4th quarter. They just could not stop Oklahoma’s high powered offense.

“The game started off pretty easy; 48-36 — but it was free flowing; no resistance,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “The defense, the rebounding; that effort has to be counted on every night. Players are too good to give that kind of confidence away right from the start. 135 points — we should be walking out with a win. But if we don’t play defense, we’re not going to.”

In the end — the Knicks scored 135 points. Fantastic. But Oklahoma scored 145. On a Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden; start time 12 noon.

Watching the game one would have thought Oklahoma was a 10-2 team — but they came in 5-7. Once again a team played their best at MSG. NY falls to 6-7; Oklahoma improves to 6-7.

1. Knicks Unstoppable Early

The 1st quarter seemed to take 40 minutes to watch. 40 minutes of fun. The Knicks were in gear with a high-powered offense; not using the 3 so much as scoring at will.

The Knicks had a 23-18 lead in a mundane 1st quarter with 4:20 left when Jericho Sims electrified the Garden with a SKY HIGH SLAM off a feed from Derrick Rose for a 25-18 lead.

Jericho then went SKY HIGH again to rip down a rebound on the other end, leading to a Derrick Rose 3-pointer and NY was up 28-18. Sims BEASTED his way through the rest of the quarter with several offensive rebounds and tip-ins and the Knicks 2nd team scored at will: Immanuel Quickley was effective, and Obi Toppin was hitting 3’s and slams.

But Oklahoma was right behind them — trailing 48-36 at the end of the 1st quarter. The 1st quarter!

2. Oklahoma Couldn’t Miss a Shot

And Oklahoma kept bringing it. They couldn’t miss a shot.

Josh Giddey — Oklahoma’s 6’8 slick-passing Australian point guard and #6 pick in the 2021 draft– shot 10-14 for 24 pts, 10 rebounds, 12 assists.

“Josh Giddey is such a crafty player with great court vision,” said basketball analyst Ross Kreines on twitter. “He makes others better with his ability to get in the lane and use his floater, get others easy looks, and penetrate and kicks that lead to open 3’s. Also, good size, plays at his tempo, competes and fills a stat sheet.”

The entire Oklahoma starting 5 barely missed a shot:

And then especially in the 2nd half, Oklahoma’s big gun and superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander got going. He could not be stopped which made guarding the other guys harder. Shai shot 13-22 for 37 points.

3. The Cam  Reddish Show

Cam Reddish had his best game as a Knick. He made athletic flashes to the basket, hit 3’s, and played good defense — coming up with steals.

Reddish was 10-17 from the floor (2-5 from 3; 4-4 in free throws) for 26 points, and 4 steals. He had a +2.

4. Barrett Benched for Quickley

Amidst all the great shooting by the Knicks, RJ Barrett was terrible — overtrying on several drives, running into defense and turning the ball over. On one drive he barreled into defense and fell to the floor as the ball went the other way. Coach Tom Thibodeau benched him and he didn’t see daylight in the 2nd half as Immanuel Quickley was playing well and got RJ’s minutes.

This was after RJ had just had his best, most efficient game of the season with 30 points against Detroit on Friday night. In this one, RJ had 4 points on 2-10 shooting (0-2 from 3) in 19 minutes for a -14.

Immanuel Quickley was terrific all evening — and had 24 points on 8-17 shooting and a +5.

5. For the Knicks

Julius Randle played well again, and unlike the other night vs Detroit when he played well but went 0-7 from 3 — in this game he hit his 3. He was 7-15 from the floor and 3-6 from 3 for 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Jalen Brunson kept pushing the Knicks high-octane offense — and had 17 points on 5-9 shooting and 7 assists.

And Obi Toppin had 10 points in 15 minutes on 4-5 shooting (2-3 from 3). Somehow the Knicks need to get Obi more minutes.

The Boxscore



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