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Knicks open up preseason with a 104-99 win against the Wizards

The Knicks are back, as a great Knick once said, and what a way to start the preseason! With a starting lineup  that included only one guy that was on New York’s roster the previous season, the Knicks outscored the Wizards 104-99 in Washington.

There are a lot of stories that can be told about the game but two of them are better.

So let’s start with RJ Barrett. The rookie got his first start and after struggling in the first quarter and going shy in the following, he turned the heat on after halftime scoring 14 of his total 17 points in the second half as he received a total of 39 minutes. Barrett also grabbed 7 boards, the same as other three starters and did an excellent job at guarding Bradley Beal.

“I did the same thing I was doing all game. I just played defense and let the game come to me. As I kept scoring, they kept finding me, kept making plays, and getting stops. It was fun to be out there.”

RJ Barrett

The other story regards Marcus Morris. The small forward got ejected in the third quarter after he received a flagrant two for elbowing, then bouncing the ball off Justin Anderson’s head with just 13 seconds into the second half. Morris was the best player for New York in the first half, scoring a game high 17 points (just like RJ). Hadn’t he been ejected, the score gap might have been even bigger. He said he apologized Anderson after the game and also his teammates.

“At the end of the day, I’ve got to be a better professional and stay in the game. My team needs me. I’ve got to be smart, set a better example. But like I said in the beginning, we’re not taking any s**t. So it is what it is.”

Marcus Morris

The Knicks led by as many as 18 points with less then three minutes in the second quarter and held a 15 point lead at halftime but the Wizards got back and tied the game in less than five minutes into the third act.

Anderson, who scored all of his 9 points in the third quarter, and Jordan McRae, who scored 9 of his total 12 in the same period, kept Washington’s hopes alive and although the gap dropped again to double digits at the end of the third, the Wizards made another run in the final act, allowing the Knicks to score just 7 points in a span of over seven minutes. They never managed to tie the game again and New York walked away with another preseason opener win in Washington.

Kevin Knox didn’t made the starting lineup but scored 12 off the bench, the same as Wayne Ellington. Taj Gibson led the bench with 16 buckets and 8 rebounds while Frank Ntilikina added 9. Mitch Robinson didn’t made as many buckets, finishing with just 5 but he also got a game high 4 blocks.

Next up, the Knicks will host the Wizards on Friday.

 

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