Knicks return to .500 after huge win against the Mavs

RJ Barrett scored a game high 32 points as the New York Knicks defeated the Dallas Mavericks 108-85 last night at the Garden, returning to .500 for the first time since December 7. It’s the second straight game for Barrett to score 30 points or more after he dropped 31 against the Spurs a couple of nights ago and the third time in the last 5 matchups. Thus, he became the youngest player in franchise history with consecutive 30 point games according to the team.

“I thought RJ, monster game. Mitch, monster game. That may have been the best game of the year for our starters. Really played hard and played well.”

Tom Thibodeau

Mitchell Robinson was in double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds and ignited the crowd in the third quarter with powerful slam dunks. Robinson was close to perfect from the field, missing just one in ten attempts. Julius Randle, who had beefed with the Garden crowd previously, finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. He went 6-17 from the field but got some love from the home crowd late in the second quarter after taking it to the rim to score against Maxi Kleber.

The Knicks were leading 58-51 shortly after halftime before going on a 11-0 run that gave them a 69-51 lead from which the Mavs couldn’t recover. They extended the lead to 22 in the fourth and to 25 in the final minute but Frank Ntilikina scored the last points of the game.

The starters did their job excellent. All of them were in double figures as Evan Fournier scored 13 points and Alec Burks added 10 buckets. Quentin Grimes led the bench with 9 points going 3-6 from the field, all from behind the arc.

The Mavs were depleted by several players, including former Knick, Kristaps Porzingis, out with medical protocols. Their head-coach, Jason Kidd was also unavailable for the same reasons. Luka Doncic led the Mavs with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Jalen Brunson, son of former Knick Rick Brunson, added 14. Dallas were on a six game winning streak, their longest since 2016, before having it cut by New York.

Tim Hardaway scored 13 points off the bench for the mavs while Ntilikina got just the final minute of action to finish with 2 points.

Up-next: The Knicks (21-21) will travel to Atlanta to take on the Hawks (17-23) on Saturday from 7:30 pm.

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