Knicks connect two in a row after win against Pelicans
The New York Knicks gave their fans a nice thanksgiving present, defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 109-114 at the Garden making their first winning streak since the preseason.
Emmanuel Mudiay led the Knicks with 27 points and rookie Allonzo Trier had again a great night, putting up a career-high 25 buckets – going 9-12 from the field (including 3-3 from behind the arc) – to which he added 8 boards.
Trier, the undrafted free agent, made a couple of crucial free throws down the stretch, putting the Knicks up 104-103 after they trailed by nine points earlier in the fourth quarter. In fact, the Knicks went on a 16-2 run in the final six minutes, an effort that not many would have predicted in spite of the competitive flow of the game until that moment from both sides.
“We understand the things we need to do in order to close out games. I think it’s the little things, the detail things, that we were better at tonight.”
– Allonzo Trier
The nine points lead was the biggest of the game and the Pelicans had it twice, once early in the first quarter and the other time before Knicks’ miraculous final minutes comeback.
Mudiay played himself as well his best game as a Knick. Although he shot 10-20 from the field, his effort counted when it mattered. He scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, in every possible way. Three pointers, free throws, layups, you name it.
“Tonight was a breakout for him. I got a lot of confidence in the kid. He’s taken it to heart and he’s really taken the floor general position to heart and he’s trying to lead that group.”
– David Fizdale
For the first time this season, the Knicks connected consecutive wins and even if this happened relative late, after 20 games, it happened against playoff contender teams. Two night’s ago, Trey Burke’s heroics helped the Knicks beat the Celtics in Boston, last night another point guard sparked the win.
What is even more important, is that the win came in a game where Tim Hardaway Jr’s shooting was trash. Hardaway shot 2-15 in 36 minutes on the floor and the team didn’t had to rely on him.
Enes Kanter, who got back in the starting lineup, dropped 17 points and 12 rebounds and Noah Vonleh posted double figures too, with 14 buckets and 11 boards.
Mitchell Robinson got fast into foul trouble and needed just 9 minutes to be fouled out.
The Pelicans (10-9) were led once again by Anthony Davis, who scored a game high 33 points and added 12 rebounds. However, he couldn’t play the entire game. Davis missed most of the fourth quarter after he hurt his ankle and got back into the game when his team were still up by three, with a bit over 3 minutes left to play. He scored late, with 8.2 seconds left on the clock, a slam dunk that cut Knicks’ lead to two but Mudiay and Hardaway went 3-3 from the free throw line and sealed the game.
Jrue Holiday scored 22 points and Nikola Mirotic added 19.
The Knicks improved 6-14 and will play in Memphis on Sunday evening against David Fizdale’s former team, the 12-6 Grizzlies, a team that lost only one time this season on their home court.