First quarter effort not enough to hold the Clippers off
They went straight at them. Meeting one of the hottest team in the league right now, even though without MVP Kawhi Leonard, the Knicks pushed limits and dropped 45 points in the first quarter to take a 16 points lead before the first buzzer.
Things got reversed in the second quarter as the Clippers nullified the Knicks’ advantage and even got back on the lead (which they didn’t lose for the rest of the game) and in the end got the win, 132-135 in one of the wildest games of the season.
Both teams trailed by as many as 16 points. The Knicks got really close at the end of the game but the free throws cost them the game. New York missed 13 of their 37 FT attempts for one of the lowest percentages, under 65%. Their opponents, however, made over 81%. Even though the Knicks shot a bit better than the Clippers from the field (48-84 vs 45-83), the free throws killed them.
“Have we ever won a game where the opponent made 57 percent?”
– Doc Rivers
The Knicks allowed 135 points in regular time but Mike Miller praised them for their effort.
“The biggest thing that comes to mind that I love is the effort, the fight, the scrap. That’s a high-level team and that’s one of the wilder games I’ve been a part of. The effort and the grit we showed in staying in that game and putting ourselves in position to win — I’m proud of this group.”
– Mike Miller
Kadeem Allen who played in just two games for a total of 18 minutes this season received solid playtime yesterday afternoon and made the most of it. He finished with 9 points and 6 assists but he struggled from the free throw line making just one of three.
The Knicks were led by Marcus Morris, who scored a season-high 38 points, going 13-18 from the field including 6-7 from behind the arc. Rookie RJ Barrett followed with 24 points and 6 boards under the eyes of his godfather, Steve Nash and Julius Randle added 16 buckets and 8 boards. The rest of the team was in single digits.
The Clippers on the other hand set a franchise record having three players to finish with over 30 points. Montrezl Harrell had 34 while Lou Williams and Paul George had 32 each.
For New York (10-26), the saga will continue at the Staples Center tomorrow when they’ll have to face the other LA team, the Lakers.