Knicks sweep Mavs with an impressive 106-103 win at Madison Square Garden
The Knicks haven’t been in a playoff series since 2013 and probably won’t be there anytime soon. Or at least we can agree on that this year’s team will not play in postseason on April. But last night’s atmosphere was very close to what you would expect during the playoffs.
And just like 5 days ago, when the two teams met in their first game of the series, in Dallas, the Knicks played as if it was the finals and for the second time, they suppressed the Mavericks, 106-103 in a thriller victory to remember.
The crowd unleashed its fury towards Kristaps Porzingis, booing him on every possession, expressing the frustration against Garden’s former lottery pick that decided to force a trade a few months earlier.
The “Fire Fizdale” chants that could be heard just days ago at the Garden had turned into “KP sucks” chants. They were shouted throughout the whole game, and one more time after the final buzzer.
“That’s the first time I’ve seen the Garden get like that. I wasn’t surprised, but it was a different level. I felt like we owed it to ourselves to play like that. We’ve been practicing our ass off.”
– Marcus Morris
The game was for most of the time close, even if the Knicks controlled it and dropped the lead just once, in the fourth and by just one point. They led to as many as ten points twice, in the third.
The thrill, however, was in the final minute. With 38 seconds on the clock, Seth Curry tied the game at 101 on a put back jumpshot following a missed three pointer by Tim Hardaway Jr.
The Knicks put their faith in Marcus Morris on their possession, who sank a step-back three pointer with just 13 .2 seconds remaining. Mavs’ repsonse came from Luka Doncic who, this time, went straight to the hoop for a safe layup. Frank Ntilikina was quickly sent to the free throw line, making both of them and with 3.2 seconds left, Dallas failed to tie the game on Curry’s desperate three point attempt.
Morris led the Knicks with 20 points and 5 rebounds, Julius Randle had a double double with 17 buckets and 10 boards and RJ Barrett had 8 points and 7 rebounds.
The bench was led by Mitchell Robinson’s 16 points and 8 boards. Dennis Smith Jr. came off the bench to play his best game of the season, torching his former team with 13 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds. Bobby Portis scored 10, Damyean Dotson had 7 points, 3 steals and 3 assists and finally, Kevin Knox scored 6 points.
The Mavericks were led by Doncic’s triple double, scoring a game-high 33 points, dishing 11 assists and grabbing 10 rebounds. Porzingis scored 20 and collected 11 boards.