Knicks fall short in Brooklyn after cutting down a 16 point deficit

Alec Burks scored a team high 25 points in his second start but the Knicks were unable to hold the Nets off and fell short 112-110 in Brooklyn, in front of a loud Knicks fan base.

With Kemba Walker out of the rotation indefinitely, coach Tom Thibodeau locked Burks, a shooting guard, as the starting PG and the 30 year old veteran was once again on the spot. Burks logged over 39 minutes, shot 9-21 from the field, made four three pointers, grabbed 5 boards, dished out 5 assists and added 2 steals to his sheet. Unfortunately, down the stretch, the Nets prevailed.

The Knicks, who led 61-60 at halftime, were outscored 14-0 at the start of the third and the Nets built a 16 point lead shortly after, with Kevin Durant scoring 10 of his total 27 points in that act. But the Knicks would force a comeback behind Julius Randle‘s 24 point night and finish the period on a 10-2 run that included a couple of three pointers by Evan Fournier, that cut the lead 88-84.

The fourth quarter was a cat-and-mouse game that extended to the final buzzer. The Knicks were down 110-107 following a couple of free throws made by Durant when Fournier nailed a three pointer that tied it with 17.7 seconds to play. The Nets ran the clock on their final possession until Mitchell Robinson picked up a foul that sent James Johnson to the free throw line putting the Nets up 112-110. With no timeouts and just 2.2 seconds left, Fournier’s last midcourt pullup jumpshot didn’t go in.

Both Randle and Thibodeau accused the referees for bad calls. Randle said one ref told him that he’s getting called because he’s stronger than defenders and because of that, contact does not affect him.

“I don’t know what they’re watching or seeing. I’m aggressive attacking the paint. I can’t be penalized for just being stronger than people. That’s the answer I got today. They said certain contact doesn’t affect me like it affects other players because I’m stronger so they missed the calls. It pissed me off even more, to be honest. It’s not how you officiate the game. You know when smaller players guarding bigger players, they get away with a lot more. But certain things are more blatant. If you just slap a guy, I don’t care who it is, it’s going to affect him.”

Julius Randle

At the end of the game, the Nets shot 25 free throws, more than double than the Knicks did who shot only 12.

“I want to watch the film. But something’s not right. I’m watching what’s going on both ways. They’re a good team. But I know Julius was driving the ball pretty darn hard. And I’m pissed. Thank you”

Tom Thibodeau

Derrick Rose scored 16 points coming off the bench and added 9 assists and 5 rebounds. Immanuel Quickley scored 12 and collected 7 boards. RJ Barrett played only 9 minutes and made an early exit because of a non-related Covid-19 illness for which he did not return. His status remains questionable.

The Nets were led by James Harden who scored 34 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 8 assists. Cam Thomas scored 12 off the bench.

The Knicks could not connect 2 straight wins in November after a 5-1 start of the season back in October.

Up-next: The Knicks (11-10) are hosting the 14-8 Chicago Bulls on Thursday night from 7:30pm.

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