Bobby Portis lifts the Knicks for their first win of the season
The Knicks seemed to have accepted their fourth straight loss of the season but Bobby Portis had other plans. The former Bull dropped 11 of his total 28 points in the final quarter, which included a couple of long distance shots in crunch time that eventually made the difference, as the Knicks gained their first win for the home crowd, upsetting the Chicago Bulls, 105-98.
The Bulls led the entire game and took an 18 points lead after the first quarter. They rarely allowed their opponents to cut the lead to single digits and even in the fourth quarter when the Knicks finally managed to tie the game at 88, Lauri Markkanen and Zach Lavine needed less than three minutes to leave the Knicks trailing by eight. But after they did that – build a 98-90 lead with 3:33 on the clock – their engines effectively stopped.
Those last 3 minutes were all New York and as Portis released his fury, the Knicks went on a 15 to nothing run that ended with the final buzzer.
With Dennis Smith Jr out due to a death in his family, coach David Fizdale gave Frank Ntilikina over 22 minutes of play time and while he went scoreless, collecting just 2 rebounds, 2 assists and and turning the ball over three times, he was praised for his effort on the defensive side.
“His minutes were fantastic. He guarded, he set the tone defensively, he made some nice plays to set some people up, he got us organized.(…) Every day he wasn’t playing he was in the gym getting a sweat, just letting me know, ‘Coach, I’m ready when you need me.’ So I was really proud of his effort.(…) He’s done a great job keeping himself prepared and ready for this.”
– David Fizdale
RJ Barrett continues to be the new kid on the block, the 19 year old putting up another huge game with 19 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists, incredible numbers for a teenager, that have only been achieved by LeBron James, as Tommy Beer found out.
But Barrett wasn’t the only Knick in double-doubles. The usual suspect, Julius Randle also finished in double figures on two chapters, scoring 13 points and grabbing 14 boards while Portis added 11 rebounds to his 28 buckets.
Mitchell Robinson was just one rebound away from a double-double, finishing with 10 points. Kevin Knox had another great game off the bench with 14 points.
The Bulls were led by Lavine and Wendell Carter Jr, who combined 41 points. Markkanen scored 18.
Next stop: Orlando,away.