Knicks drop Pacers 138-129 despite missing their star players

The Knicks proved that they don’t need their star players to come away with a win as they beat the Pacers 138-129 last night, despite the absence of Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, and RJ Barrett.

In a remarkable display of offensive firepower, the Knicks had not one, not two, but three players scoring 30 or more points in a single game. This feat has only happened three times in franchise history, with the last time being in 1979, as Bill Pidto noted in the post game analysis.

Immanuel Quickley led the Knicks with points, followed by Quentin Grimes with 36 points, and Obi Toppin with 32 points. Additionally, Mitchell Robinson recorded a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds.

The Pacers took a brief lead in the fourth quarter and were up 120-118 with five minutes left. However, Toppin’s thunderous dunks inspired a Knicks comeback, while Grimes scored 16 fourth-quarter points to lead the Knicks on a 9-0 run that the Pacers were unable to recover from.

“Obi ran the floor well and got us some easy buckets. He’s hard to match up with what he can do. He continued to play to his strengths and his teammates’ strengths.”

 – Tom Thibodeau

The game was a tale of two halves, as the Knicks led 105-91 with seconds left in the third quarter. However, the Pacers responded with a 20-1 run to take a 111-106 lead early in the fourth.

Jalen Smith led the Pacers with 19 points, while TJ McConnell and Bennedict Mathurin added 18 and 17 points, respectively. The Pacers had eight out of 10 players in double figures.

Despite the Pacers’ efforts, the Knicks outrebounded them 52-37 and outscored them 68-54 in the paint. This was a crucial factor in the Knicks’ victory, as they were able to dominate the interior and create second-chance opportunities.

The Knicks’ win over the Pacers was an impressive team effort, and their three 30-point scorers proved that they can win games even without their star players.

Up-next: The Knicks (47-33) will take one last trip before ending the regular season at home and they will face the New Orleans Pelicans (41-39) on Friday from 8:00 pm.

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