Fournier’s heroics not enough to contain Morant, Grizzlies
Evan Fournier scored a game high 30 points and RJ Barrett added 23 but the New York Knicks fell to Ja Morant’s Memphis Grizzliers, 120-108 last night at the Garden.
Fournier shot 11-18 from the field and made eight three pointers (8-12) to go with his five boards and Julius Randle was close to a triple double with 18 points, 12 boards and 9 dimes. The All Star was ejected with 31.5 seconds left to play after getting a second technical.
The Knicks defended well at Morant but, as coach Thibodeau noted, failed to contain their other weapons.
“So I thought our perimeter defense was pretty good, the help was good, but then Jackson got loose, Williams got loose, Melton got loose. So we have to, like, finish our defense.”
– Tom Thibodeau
The Grizzlies took a 19 point lead in the second quarter and led throughout most of the game by double digits. The Knicks forced a comeback after halftime and cut the lead 74-68 in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth, the Knicks got closer after Immanuel Quickley‘s consecutive three pointers that made it 95-90 with nine minutes left on the clock. Memphis were fast to reply and went on a 9-0 run and from that point the Knicks had no answer.
Mitchell Robinson had a huge night. 14 points (7-8), 11 rebounds (seven of them offensive) and 8 blocks. Unfortunately, the Knicks didn’t get the rebound too often after these blocks.
“I knew they were number one in the paint so I had to protect the paint and went after the ball. I took the challenge. It was challenging, but I think I did pretty well.”
– Mitchell Robinson
The Grizzlies were led by Jaren Jackson who scored 26 points and collected 10 rebounds. Ja Morant scored 23 and dished-out 9 assists while Ziaire Williams finished with 21.
Both teams shot similarly from the field but the Grizzlies were slightly better from behind the arc where they went 16-39 to Knicks’s 12-36.
Up-next: The Knicks (24-28) will embark on a 5 game west coast trip that starts on Saturday in Los Angeles, against the Lakers (25-27) from 8:30pm.