Knicks surprise their coach with third straight win, against Grizzlies, his former team
Coach David Fizdale returned to Memphis after being released as their head coach almost a year ago and the Knicks made it fun as they completed a three game winning streak with a 98-103 road victory against the Grizzlies.
The win was celebrated in the locker room with water and ice as Fizdale stepped in.
“You’re getting me emotional because I can’t put it into words.”
– David Fizdale
The Knicks trailed by 13 points early in the third quarter and that was the moment they shifted gears and pushed the gas pedal. In a span of a bit over six minutes, they went on a 23-6 run and went into the fourth quarter with a 7 point lead.
The Grizzlies fought back and tied the game and even went ahead for a brief moment. The final 90 seconds were decisive. Trey Burke makes a steal and feeds Emmanuel Mudiay for a dunk over Garrett Temple, drawing a foul to give the Knicks a 4 point lead. One minute later, Noah Vonleh blocks Shelvin Mack’s 25-foot three point attempt and the Knicks increase their lead after Mudiay goes 2-2 from the free throw line.
Marc Gasol tries to keep the Grizzlies alive with a jump shot but Burke makes himself a couple of free throws. Eventually, Jaren Jackson Jr takes a three, makes it and cuts the lead to three points with 11 seconds on the clock. Frank Ntilikina is sent to the free throw line and goes flawless. Gasol misses a final three, Ntilikina rebounds it and the buzzer sounds to close the game.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks with 22 points and Enes Kanter scored 21 and grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds.
“We knew it was going to be an emotional game. In the huddle before the game, we got together and said, <<Hey let’s do it for the coach.>> At halftime coach said play your game, worry about nothing else but we wanted to win for the coach.”
– Enes Kanter
Mudiay finished with 17 points and his starting position is looking better and better. Burke led the bench with 15 buckets and Allonzo Trier added 10.
For the Grizzlies (12-7), Gasol scored a game high 27 points, Mike Conley dropped 23 buckets and dished 11 dimes and Jaren Jackson nailed 16 points.
The Knicks are now 7-14 and are on their first three game winning streak since last December.
Next stop, Detroit on Wednesday night.