Horror Movie. Knicks Blow 9-Pt Lead w 30 Sec Left. Doncic Scores 60. Dallas 126 NY 121

The Knicks had a 9-pt lead with 30 seconds left. And they lost.

A stunning play and a stunning turn of events. After that the Knicks momentum and mojo was shattered, and Dallas won in overtime as Luka Doncic went for 60 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists — the first time any player went for 60-20-10.

A historic game.

A horrific loss.

Like a horror movie.

“We gave up and-one’s, we gave up uncontested shots, we missed some free throws, so it was a compilation of things,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards.

Miles McBride made 5 of 6 free throws in the final 30 seconds of regulation, but NY overall was 15-24 from the line.

NY has now lost 4 in a row, all in excruciating fashion. They fall to 18-17; Dallas came in with the same record as NY, and improves to 19-16.

1. Knicks Were Without Brunson & Barrett

Knick fans could take some consolation in that the Knicks shoulda/coulda/woulda won this game despite being short handed — Jalen Brunson was out with a hip pointer and RJ Barrett left the game after 2 minutes when Luka Doncic fouled him and lacerated his finger.

2. Grimes Tremendous

More consolation could be taken from the Tremendous game Quentin Grimes played, stepping fully into RJ Barrett‘s shoes. Grimes played like an All Star all night — leading the Knicks on offense with 3-pointers and quick and efficient drives to the basket, while having to defend Luka Doncic on the other end.

Grimes finished with 33 points on 12-25 shooting (7-16 from 3).

3. Luka Incredible (Amidst His Complaining)

But Doncic was incredible — scoring and making it look easy all night. And then came the incredible final play of regulation.

The Knicks went with single coverage on Doncic all evening — the strategy to not let the rest of the Dallas team hurt them, as they did in the blowout on December 4th. The strategy worked as NY was up by 9 with 30 seconds left. The Knicks threw all kinds of looks at Doncic all evening — Grimes had the primary responsibility of guarding him, but also Randle took turns, and Jericho Sims had some success against Doncic early in the 4th quarter.

To counter the Knicks strategy, Doncic and Dallas ran pick-and-rolls throughout the game.

As great as Doncic is, it is difficult to watch him complain to the referees all night on seemingly every play.

No doubt Doncic is doing this to give himself an edge. But it’s hard to watch.

Doncic finished 21-31 (2-6 from 3, 16-22 from the free throw line) for 60 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists.

4. Mitchell Beasted — and Attempted 2 Post-Ups

More good news for the Knicks in this game they should have won was the play of Mitchell Robinson — who threw down a 20 point, 16 rebound effort. Robinson was 8 for 9 from the floor — and attempted two post-up moves — making one, and missing the other. That in itself made it a historic evening for Knick fans.

5. Randle Terrific

And Julius Randle was no slouch against Luka — Randle played like an All Star as well — 29 pts and 18 rebounds. Randle shot 11-23 from the floor (5-11 from 3) and had 4 assists.

6. Quick Ran the Point

With Brunson out, Immanuel Quickley ran the point and looked good running it. He had 11 assists at the half and finished with 15 assists. But his shooting continues to be a problem — in this game he was 1-10 from 3, and a horrid 5-21 overall from the floor for 13 points.

Quickley’s poor shooting was one of the reasons why the Knicks lost this game. The lone 3 that he hit was big — it came near the end of regulation to increase the Knicks lead in what looked like it was going to be a NY win.

7. McBride Played 46 Minutes

And Miles McBride was the other poor shooter on the Knicks — he went 1-9 from 3 and 4-14 overall for 14 points. McBride played great D all evening and hit 5 of 6 huge free throws in the closing 34 seconds after Dallas intentionally fouled the Knicks.

McBride’s clutch free throw shooting at the end would have made him a hero — had Doncic not tied the game after grabbing the rebound from McBride and Grimes who both had it, but knocked it out of each other’s hands. McBride should have boxed out Doncic on the play — a mistake that you can’t blame him for, as the secondary rebound was coming his way.

8. Reddish Did Not Play

Knick fans on Twitter exploded after the loss — blaming coach Tom Thibodeau for playing McBride and Quickley (51 minutes) so many minutes while Cam Reddish remained glued to the bench. The Knicks looked gassed at the end of overtime.

“I was more concerned with how we were matching up with them,” said Thibodeau. “We try to match up a certain way, and I thought we were playing well. We didn’t close out the last 30 seconds of the game.”

9. For Dallas

The Knicks were helped by Tim Hardaway Jr going 4-15 from the floor (3-11 from 3) and Reggie Bullock going 1-7 (all from 3). In a game earlier in the season, Dallas torched the Knicks by hitting their 3’s.

Christian Wood hurt the Knicks with 19 points (on 7-15 shooting, 3-9 from 3), and Spencer Dinwiddie had 25 pts on 9-15 shooting (3-8 from 3).

The Boxscore



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