Knicks Lose Randle for Year; Beat Kings. NY 120 Sacramento 109

In the game immediately following the devastating news that Julius Randle would need surgery on his right shoulder and would be out for the rest of the year, the Knicks rallied to beat a very good Sacramento team, 120-109 at a rocking Madison Square Garden on a Thursday night. A nationally televised game on TNT.

The Villanova trio was at the heart of it — Josh Hart, Jalen Brunson, and Donte DiVincenzo — with Isaiah Hartenstein playing a big role too as did Miles McBride.

NY was down 95-92 with 9 minutes left in the 4th when they went on a 13-0 run with those 5 playing shut-down defense and making big plays on offense.

Hart had his most prolific scoring game of the year with 31 pts on 14-19 shooting (no shots taken from 3) and 9 rebounds; Brunson had 35 pts on 12-20 shooting and 11 assists, and DiVincenzo added 21 pts on 6-13 shooting (5-9 from 3).

“He’s our brother… we want him to be healthy,” said Jalen Brunson afterwards about Randle. “That’s first and foremost and that’s the most important thing.”

NY improves to 45-31 despite all the injuries. Sacramento falls to 44-32.

1. Sacramento Jumps Out to 15-Pt Lead in 1st Quarter

With the Knicks reeling from the devastating news of no Julius Randle for the playoffs, the Kings came out and pounced on them.

2. Down by 21 Pts, Knicks Go on 16-2 Run in 2nd

Sacramento kept coming at the Knicks to start the 2nd quarter — Trey Lyles made drives inside, Davion Mitchell hit a 3, and D’Aaron Fox hit a drive and a 3 to put Sacramento up 46-25.

But just when it looked like it would be an ugly evening, NY went to the well — tightening their defense and executing on offense to get back into the game. They didn’t allow a Sacramento field goal for 4 minutes; just 2 free throws. Meanwhile:

  • Jalen Brunson hit a floater,
  • Josh Hart made a drive-and-1,
  • DiVincenzo hit a 3,
  • Brunson dunked,

  • Hartenstein scored inside off a Brunson feed,
  • Brunson hit free throws, and
  • Brunson hit a floater off a Hartenstein feed and NY had a 13-2 run to pull within 48-41 with 4 minutes left in the quarter.

Finally Davion Mitchell hit a J for Sacramento to break their schneid, but Josh Hart answered with a drive-and-1 for a 19-4 NY run.

NY remained 8 down at the half, 60-52, but it was a ballgame again.

3. Knicks Climb Back to Take the Lead in 3rd

Sacramento extended their lead back to 14 points on a De’Aaron Fox 3-pt play and back-to-back buckets by Keegan Murray at the start of the 3rd.

But the Knicks were just getting started.

A McBride drive, and back-to-back 3’s by Donte DiVincenzo pulled NY back to within 68-62.

A Josh Hart drive-and-1 3-pt play, and back-to-back 3’s by Deuce McBride pulled NY to within 76-72 with 5:21 left in the 3rd.

A DiVincenzo 3 tied the game with a minute left in the period as Madison Square Garden ROARED.

Three DiVincenzo free throws after he was fouled taking a 3 put NY up 3 before a Fox 3 tied the game 87-87 heading into the 4th.

4. Knicks Take Over in the 4th

Bogdan Bogdanovic supplied two early buckets in the 4th, but Sacramento had one last push-back: a Keegan Murray 3 tied the game and a Fox 3 put Sacramento up 95-92.

Isaiah Hartenstein entered the game for Mitchell Robinson — who played 15 solid minutes off the bench with 7 rebounds and a block.

Hartenstein immediately scored inside on a dish by Jalen Brunson, then returned the favor next time down — a dish to Brunson for a floater-and-1, and NY was back on top, 97-95.

More Hart

Josh Hart was all over the place all evening — but really stepped it up in the 4th. Hart made a drive-and-1, then hit a jumper off a Brunson assist, and NY was up 102-95 with 6:48 left.

“Josh Hart needs no plays called for him to stay engaged and it’s also no accident that he puts himself in the right position for 50/50 balls, rebounds, easy buckets and deflections,” noted NBA Analyst Ross Kreines. “Also, finds the open man and creates his own opportunities from his effort, heart and will to outwork u.”

Then Brunson hit a 3 and NY was up 10 — 105-95 — a 13-0 run — at a ROCKING Madison Square Garden.

That rocking crowd included Stephon Marbury on the sidelines rooting for the current Knicks

Brunson, DiVincenzo, Hart, Hart again, Brunson, made buckets down the stretch and NY was up 117-103 with 2:24 left.


The Boxscore


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.