After two losses in a row; the Knicks reassured their fans with a serious game; but also with envy and aggressiveness in defense and attack. However; it is Indiana; with its C team; who has had the best start thanks to the unknown Keifer Sykes; who hits three important shots on the 3-pointers. But RJ Barrett is just as hot; and from near and far; the Canadian catches fire to record 19 points in the first quarter!
The Knicks produce good basketball and Tom Thibodeau harangues his people from his bench not to take their foot off the gas. Rick Carlisle’s men; despite a small workforce; rise up in defense and the debates are balanced. At half-time; the counters are tied (55-55).
The two teams tighten the screw in defense; and the interiors show their muscles in the box at the beginning of the second half. After a monstrous dunk; Myles Turner fouls three in a row; and Julius Randle takes the opportunity to smudge the stat sheet. The left-handed buffalo celebrates and scores 14 points during the third quarter.
No shot is easy; and Rick Carlisle is making the most of his G-League squad thus far. Randle teaches Sabonis a lesson and the garden is standing. To support the Barrett-Randle tandem; Alec Burks is the standout; and the Knicks ultimately win 104-94.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– An impressive RJ Barrett! Rowan’s son did not wait to take matters into his own hands. With 19 points; a single missed shot and 3 rebounds; the former Duke lit up Madison Square Garden with a monumental first quarter. While the Pacers had started the game very well to lead 18-10; RJ Barrett allowed the Knicks to respond with… 16-0!
– New York in power. The Knicks have 16 more points on the racket; and especially they grab 14 offensive rebounds! The Sabonis-Turner tandem was dominated in intensity; and the Gibson-Robinson duo hurt them badly.
– An ultra defensive last quarter. Tom Thibodeau will be smiling in the video session tomorrow; his players showed involvement in defense during the fourth quarter. With only 17 points conceded; including 8 free throws; the Knicks closed the access to the basket to the Pacers at the best moment to validate a deserved success.
TOPS / FLOPS
✅ Julius Randle. The Knicks franchise player has shown who is boss in Domantas Sabonis. In this left-handed duel; the former Kentucky was the strongest; with XXL statistics: 30 points; 16 rebounds and 4 assists. Author of a fiery second half; Julius Randle was entitled to some “MVPs” from the local fans; all visibly excited by the performance of their flagship player.
✅ Rj barrett. 19 points in the first quarter; defensive involvement at all times and an exemplary collective spirit; the defender was the perfect lieutenant for Julius Randle. More regular in his outside shot; the Canadian; when he plays at this level; is very difficult to stop. Without hesitation in going to rub shoulders with opposing interiors; he managed to provoke three fouls on the only Myles Turner in the third quarter.
✅ Keifer Sykes. Unknown to the battalion and at the height of his 1m78; the 28-year-old rookie who passed through Wisconsin Green Bay astonished everyone at the start of the game: 4/4 shooting and 12 points scored from the 3-point line. Playing with his small size; he pocketed some home fans with his spontaneity and handsome defensive grind.
⛔ Evan fournier. Still a starter; the Frenchman went through this game as he crosses the Atacama desert without squash; without stick; or caligae. Very difficult afternoon for the native of Charenton; who barely touches a ball in attack; and shows a lack of involvement in defense.
New York (18-20) : still at home for a game against the Celtics.
Indiana (14-24 years) : back home to face the Nets tonight.
News of Indiana Pacers NBA on JournalTime.org