The New York Knicks are back to .500 after a win tonight versus the Indiana Pacers. New York beat Indiana by a score of 106-102.
Both the Knicks and Pacers showed true signs of fight.
New York Knicks
After recording a horrifically bad three-point shooting game against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday, the Knicks knocked down 50 percent of their three-pointers. RJ Barrett and Austin Rivers had the hot hand beyond the arc.
After games of inconsistent shooting, RJ Barrett finally put it all together, having a really stout game. Barrett scored 25 points on eight of fifteen shooting in 42 minutes. Barrett clicked from beyond the arc, hitting four of five shots. He also was aggressive getting to the rim and drew contact easily like usual. If he played every game like the opponent was the Pacers, he’d be a very special player.
Elfrid Payton continued his consistent scoring tonight, racking up 19 points. Although there were signs of laziness from him tonight. Payton threw a bad pass to Julius Randle even though he clearly saw the defender enamored in the passing lane. Anyways, Payton continues to bully whoever is in the paint. Tonight’s victims were Domontas Sabonis and Myles Turner. Quite surprising of Turner since he is one of the NBA’s best shot blockers.
Julius Randle didn’t have a great game, mainly because of his bad first half, missing his first six shots. Randle began to percolate in the second half. His rebounding and assists pushed the offense’s tempo to new heights, often finding an open RJ Barrett beyond the arc. But, Randle did come up clutch amidst an off game. In the final minute, Randle cut into the passing lane, grabbing a pass that was intended for Domontas Sabonis, and threw it down at the other end. He continuously neutralized Sabonis in the paint and looked like the better player.
Mitchell Robinson had a solid night tonight. He didn’t land himself in ridiculous foul trouble and often found himself the recipient of some great alley-oops. Robinson even made a tremendous play in the clutch, blocking a critical shot leading to an Austin Rivers basket, extending the Knicks’ lead at the end of the game.
The bench put together a strong performance thanks to the likes of Austin Rivers, Nerlens Noel, and rookie Immanuel Quickley. Once again, Quickley set up a great pace for the offense and was able to draw ridiculous fouls. Austin Rivers looked like a true role player and scored 15 points. Nerlens Noel was great on the boards and constantly pressured Domontas Sabonis.
The Pacers played a great game, limiting the turnovers and shooting well. Indiana shot 38 percent from downtown and 40.5 percent from the field.
Malcolm Brogdon kept the Pacers in this game. Brogdon scored 33 points on 12 of 18 from the field. He also shot 70 percent from downtown on seven of ten shooting.
Domontas Sabonis drew fouls in the paint but was effectively neutralized by the Knicks’ big men. Sabonis found himself committing ridiculous fouls and turned over the ball four times. He did well on the boards but only scored 13 points.
Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner were shut down for most of the game. Turner didn’t block as many shots as he did in the opener against the Knicks, being constantly bullied. He went on a hot streak in the third quarter hitting three threes but went cold afterward.
Justin Holiday also rained threes as he scored twelve points on four of five from three.
This game between the Pacers and Knicks was exciting and a great team victory for New York. The Knicks will face off against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday at 7:30. The Pacers will face the New Orleans Pelicans at 8:00 on Monday.