After coming off a win to the Indiana Pacers yesterday night, the New York Knicks were determined to add another win to their record, to place them above .500. They came into the game tied for 4th place in the Eastern Conference with the Toronto Raptors.
Both New York and Detroit struggled to get things going early. They were each 8-for-24 from the field. New York was better from behind the arch than from two-point range. The team was 5-for-8 from three. After being tied at 10 midway through the first quarter, back-to-back three-pointers by RJ Barrett and Alec Burks were able to help New York get their lead back. A personal foul from Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart with 9/10 seconds left in the first sent Immanuel Quickley to the line. He punched in all his free throws to give New York a 5-point lead. They ended the first quarter on top 25-20.
Much like the opening quarter, Burks and Barrett were a big reason New York was able to start the second on a good note. Burch had 10-points off the bench in the first half. He came out to start the second quarter with back-to-back driving layups, and a three-pointer to give his team momentum. Barrett knocked in 2 driving layups of his own, contributing 4 of his 12 first-half points during the second quarter.
New York’s All-Star Julius Randle was also a big help for his team as a fadeaway jump shot put New York up 15 with 1:08 to go. In the final minute, Detroit cut their deficit to 11. New York’s defense held Detroit to 37-points and just 31% shooting from the field in the first half. They went into the locker room up 48-37.
New York strengthened their lead, only three minutes into the third quarter when Randle knocked a basket in from downtown to put his team up 65-49. Following that play, New York never looked back. The team continued to extend their lead and reached a 23-point advantage over Detroit with 2:30 remaining on the clock. New York headed into the fourth quarter 83-64.
For much of the fourth quarter, New York’s lead kept going back and forth from 23 to 21. Quickley missed his first 5 shots from the field, but midway through the quarter; he hit back-to-back three-pointers to put his team on top 24 at the 5:38 mark. The closest Detroit ever got to New York was 19 points. New York led by double digits the entire second half and beat Detroit with a final score of 109-90.
Coach Casey of Detroit gave New York credit for how they dominated tonight saying, “The knicks were the aggressor team, they had us on our heels, and I don’t think we ever recovered,” he said. “I think we had one stretch in the second quarter where we got back into the game, but never had our sea legs under us the entire game.”
New York is now over .500. Tom Thibodeau’s squad finished the month of February with a 9-5 record. This was the team’s first winning month since 2017. Their record is now 18-15, which is also the best they’ve been at this point in the season since 2012-13.
“Our focus has to be exactly what’s in front of us, and that’s each day, each game, each practice keep improving,” Thibodeau said. “We have a young team that can grow, and if we get everyone committed good things can happen.”
New York will be headed to San Antonio to take on the Spurs tomorrow at 8:30pm.
Detroit will travel to Toronto to face the Raptors tomorrow at 7:30pm.