Knicks score a bunch of points as they defeat Kings 121-140
With Elfrid Payton out, Tom Thibodeau inserted Derrick Rose for the first time in the starting lineup. Rose, who scored the first 7 points for the Knicks, finished with 18 points and 6 assists in one of the most brutal wins of the season, 121-140 against the Sacramento Kings at the Garden, now packed with 2,000 fans in the seats.
Immanuel Quickley led the offense and scored a team high 25 points off the bench with 18 of them coming in the first half, exciting the fans who were shouting for him to be thrown in the game: “We want Quickley!”
“I heard it on the bench. It was kind of funny. I was laughing under my mask so nobody can see my expression. It was pretty cool to have the whole crowd behind you and back you up like that. I try never to get too high or low.”
– Immanuel Quickley
Chants of “M-V-P” were shouted for both Quickley and Julius Randle, the All Star who ended up with 21 points and 14 boards. In fact, three other Knick players finished in double figures.
Alec Burks scored 24 of the bench shooting 8-12 from the field, including 5-8 from the three point lane. RJ Barrett had 12 points and Reggie Bullock contributed with 10.
But the nice story comes from Frank Ntilikina who finally got back in the rotation and was given over 23 minutes of playtime. Frank, who hadn’t played since late December, and never more than 19 minutes, scored 7 points, had three steals and marked a plus-17, drawing appreciations from his coach.
“I wanted to get a look at Frank. We have a lot of confidence in everyone on the roster. It was Frank’s opportunity, he went in and took advantage of it and played well. His defense was fantastic.”
– Tom Thibodeau
The game went head to head until early in the second quarter, when after a 9-0 run, the Knicks never looked back. The Kings closed the gap to just 5 points with under 2 minutes left in the third but the home team responded heavily in the fourth, killing any hopes for the visitors.
The Knicks offense was extremely productive. Thib’s team scored 39 points in the second and in the fourth, and 38 in the first. New York shot 58.9% from the field and 52.8% from behind the arc. They also shot close to perfect from the free throw line making 19-21 shots, for a 90.5%.
The Kings on the other side were not horrible at all but it’s tough to compete when one of the top three defensive teams in the league kills you with their offense too.
De’Aaron Fox scored a game-high 29 points and dished 11 assists while Harrison Barnes seconded him with 22 buckets. Rookie Tyrese Haliburton scored 17 points off the bench but struggled from long distance, going just 2-8.
The last time the Knicks scored 140 points or more in regular time was in 1988, when they beat the Indiana Pacers 141-113 on December 20, just a month after they pulled a 141-122 win against the Philadelphia 76ers on November 19.
The Knicks (16-17) will host the Pacers (15-15) on Saturday at 8:00pm.