Knicks beat Hornets despite missing Randle, Anunoby
The New York Knicks extended their winning streak to seven games, defeating the Charlotte Hornets 113-92.
Jalen Brunson‘s explosive display with 32 points and 7 assists, coupled with Donte DiVincenzo‘s all-around contribution of 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, propelled the Knicks to their 30th win. The Villanova connection showcased the team’s resilience despite the absence of key players.
Missing Julius Randle, who dislocated his right shoulder in a recent clash with Denver, and OG Anunoby, sidelined due to elbow inflammation, the Knicks faced a challenging matchup. The positive news of Randle not requiring season-ending surgery provides a silver lining, with recovery expected in weeks rather than months.
The turning point of the game came in the third quarter, where the Knicks outscored the Hornets 44-24. This surge followed a first half where the Knicks never led by more than five points.
Precious Achiuwa, making his first start, contributed 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 block. The injection of Achiuwa into the starting lineup showcased the Knicks’ depth and versatility, particularly in the absence of key starters. Along him, Josh Hart also made the starting lineup, finishing with 12 rebounds, 8 points and 7 assists.
Miles McBride, coming off the bench, delivered a strong performance with 11 points. His impact was evident as the Knicks extended their lead to 98-69 early in the fourth quarter, marked by McBride’s three-pointer.
The Spectrum Center was packed with Knicks fans, giving Brunson “MVP” chants at the free throw line and erupting “Let’s go Knicks” after McBride made it a 29 point game.
“Every road game feels like a home game for us.”
– Donte DiVincenzo
The Hornets were led by Brandon Miller with 29 points, Miles Bridges with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Cody Martin with 14 points and 8 assists. Facing a severely depleted lineup missing key players like LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, and Mark Williams, the Knicks capitalized on their advantage. The game also witnessed Hornets coach Steve Clifford being ejected in the fourth quarter for disputing a non-foul call on a play involving Brandon Miller and Jericho Sims.
The victory marks the Knicks’ seventh consecutive triumph, positioning them at 4th in the Eastern Conference. Currently, they are 0.5 games ahead of the Cavaliers and have caught up with the Sixers, with both teams trailing the 2nd-seeded Bucks by just two games.
Up-next: The Knicks (30-17) return at Madison Square Garden tonight to take on the Utah Jazz (24-24) from 7:30pm.