Barrett, Burks, propel the Knicks in fourth quarter comeback to sweep the Wizards 106-102
As the trade deadline passed, the Knicks decided not to get involved in any blockbuster trades and with slight exceptions they kept the roster pretty much as it was.
Soon after that, the Knicks hosted, once again, the Washington Wizards, whom they just defeated a couple of days earlier. But this story was different.
The Knicks struggled for three quarters, trailing by as many as 17 and by double figures for most part of the game before pushing for a late comeback to outrun the Wizards 106-102 and sweep the season series, as expected by most NBA betting analysts.
“We struggled early but we just found a way to win. That’s what you respect about this group. The resiliency and fight in them and the willingness to work and sacrifice for each other.”
– Tom Thibodeau
Down 60-45 at halftime and trailing by 11 at the end of the third, the Knicks were ignited by RJ Barrett and Alec Burks who shot most of their venom after the break.
Barrett scored 19 of his total 24 points in the second half and Burks scored 15 of his game-high 27 points in the final act. Barrett also collected 10 rebounds and dished 5 assists to complete a rare double double and signaled what was coming in the fourth with a second-effort put-back basket at the buzzer of the third.
The fourth quarter was painted in comeback fashion with the Knicks ditching the double digit trail early on but the fist lead of the night came with four minutes remaining on the clock. With the score tied at 91, Immanuel Quickley delivered a huge three pointer and from that point the Wizards weren’t able to recover.
Quickley finished with 16 points, 6 rebound and 3 assists off the bench. Taj Gibon had 10 points and 8 boards. All star Julius Randle had 13 points and 9 rebounds.
Mitchell Robinson who made his first start since returning from the injury scored 6 points and grabbed 7 boards in 21 minutes of playtime.
The irony is that Washington shot much better than New York. They went 46.3% from the field including 30.8% from the three point line compared to Knicks’ 36.6% field goal percentage and 25% from long range. The Wizards also dished more assist (26-14) and blocked more shots (9-4) but the Knicks outrebounded them (55-46) and had more steals (12-8).
The Wizards were led by Bradley Beal’s 26 points and 9 assists, followed by Rui Hachimura with 21 and 9. Russel Westbrook was one assist shy from a triple double, finishing with 13 points, 18 rebounds and 9 dimes.
Coming back to the trade deadline, the Knicks were involved in a three way deal that sent Austin Rivers to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Ignas Brazdeikis to the Philadelphia 76ers. In return they got Terrance Ferguson from OKC and from the 76ers Vincent Poirier and a 2021 second-round pick.
Up-next: The Knicks (23-22) will travel to Milwaukee on Saturday to take on the Bucks (29-14) at 8:00 pm.