Obi Toppin & Cam Reddish Star in Nail Biter. NY 106 Philly 104

Obi Toppin hit two Huge 3’s in the final 4 minutes — the second with 1:27 left to put the Knicks on top, and Cam Reddish played terrific defense and made “moving and grooving” drives to the basket to help the Knicks to a come-from-behind victory in Philly, 106-104.

It was a total team win as Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle all made key plays and free throws in the final minute as well — Brunson with a 3-pt play off a drive, Barrett saving the ball and turning it into a drive and free throws, and Randle hitting all 4 of 4 Huge free throws he had in the final 30 seconds.

It was news that Obi Toppin and Julius Randle were playing together — and down the stretch at that. It was also a new development that Cam Reddish joined the starters for the end run. NY was down by 10 with just over 6 minutes left when they started their comeback — off of Cam Reddish Defense and drives.

Mitchell Robinson injured his knee slightly in the 1st half and left the game — so NY went with Obi and Randle at the finish.

“Julius played really hard; he’s at the 5 — defending the 5 — he did a great job for us” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards.

On Obi’s huge 3’s, Thibs had this to say: “We see him shoot ever day. I don’t think he’ll hesitate. He lets it go. Which is exactly what we want. He’s a gifted scorer. He’s worked extremely hard on his shot. He’s always had the ability to run the floor; great finisher. But he’s put a lot of work into his shot.”

The Knicks evened their season record to 4-4; Philly — playing without Joel Embiid and James Harden — drops to 4-6.

1. Barrett Leads NY to 58-53 Halftime Advantage

The Knicks had lost 3 in a row coming in — all against good teams — Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Atlanta. But they had leads in each of those games late but coughed them up — and so one felt coming in that the Knicks would try and get a win in Philly with Embiid and Harden out.

And the game started out that way as NY took control in the 2nd quarter, led by the strong, efficient game of RJ Barrett — who was penetrating and scoring, or penetrating and dishing — something he’s been doing a lot of the last few games.

2. Philly Takes Control in 3rd Quarter

But then in the 3rd quarter, the Knicks started to look like they didn’t have enough talent to be a good team in the NBA. They kept missing 3-pt jumpshots, and 2-pt jumpshots — they just kept missing any jumpshot they took.

Philly hit their jumpshots and took a commanding 83-74 lead, — outscoring NY 30-16 in the 3rd quarter. Entering the 4th quarter, the Knicks were 6-27 from 3, while Philly was 10-34 from 3.

3. Reddish & Toppin Star in Final Minutes

Philly upped their lead to 12 points early in the 4th, and were up by 10 pts with 6:41 left when Cam Reddish entered the game for Immanuel Quickley, and Barrett came back in replacing Evan Fournier. Cam Reddish immediately tipped a pass that resulted in an RJ Barrett steal and Obi Toppin ahead of the field slam dunk.

The Knicks clamped down the D and as Obi Toppin ripped down a rebound, were “starting to get some pep in their step” as Walt Frazier said on the broadcast. A Brunson drive and free throws was followed by a pretty Cam Reddish stutterstep drive and NY was within 4 at 91-87.

Ballgame back on.

Obi Toppin hit a Huge 3 with 3:29 left to make it 93-30 Philly.

Cam Reddish followed with a nifty drive at 2:44 left to make it a 93-92 game.

4. Randle to Obi for Game Winner

And then Julius Randle drove into the lane — got bottled up — but fed Obi Toppin who hit the HUGE 3 to give NY a 97-96 lead with 1:27 left.

Right after the game, Walt Frazier asked Obi Toppin, “When you’re playing with Randle sometimes I think you’re not aggressive; you’re not looking for your shot; is that the case?” Obi answered, “I’m never going to force shots; I’m going to let the game come to me; there’s a lot of great players on the court & I’m just going to do my job”

The Knicks D caused Tyrese Maxey into an unforced turnover, and Jalen Brunson made a tough and-1 drive down the lane and NY had a 4-pt lead with 1:05 left.

After that it was a nail biter down the stretch as Philly kept fouling NY and hitting their shots but NY made all their key free throws — RJ Barrett 1-2, and Julius Randle 4 for 4.


The multiple stars for the Knicks filled up the stat sheet:

  • RJ Barrett had 22 pts on 10-16 shooting, and 9 rebounds
  • Jalen Brunson had 23 pts on 7-15 shooting, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists
  • Obi Toppin had 17 pts on 6-10 shooting (3-6 from 3) in 20 minutes
  • Julius Randle had 17 pts on 6-13 shooting, 10 rebounds and 5 assists

By the end of the game:

  • Knicks were 23-27 from free throw line — 85.2 %
  • Philly 17-21 from free throw line — 81 %
  • Knicks 9-33 from 3, 27.3%
  • Philly 13-47 from 3, 27.7 %

In the 4th quarter:

  • NY outscored Philly 26-13.
  • NY was 10-18 from the floor to Philly’s 5-19.
  • NY was 3-6 from 3 to Philly’s 2-10.

The Boxscore


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