If there have been followers, the Backyard devoted would have spent MLK Day chanting “De-fence.”

The defensive momentum from their rout of the Celtics carried over into MLK Day because the Knicks shut out the Magic in a 91-84 squeaker in a midday matinee on the fan-free Backyard.

The Knicks couldn’t shoot both – not even free throws — because the day become a Backyard brick-fest. Neither staff reached 40-percent capturing and the Knicks blew all of a 14-point lead earlier than surviving.

“I really like successful – excessive scoring, medium scoring, low scoring,” Tom Thibodeau stated. “I really like the toughness we confirmed down the stretch.”

With RJ Barrett’s highly effective efficiency (22 factors, 10 rebounds, 4 assists) and extra defensive self-discipline, the Knicks posted their first back-to-back victories in three years with a Boston-Orlando exacta, although they almost squandered this one.

The Knicks shook off Julius Randle’s uncommon off-shooting day (5 of 19) to put up a key win earlier than taking off for a four-game West Coast journey. However Randle hit a clutch driving layup with that put the Knicks in entrance 83-81 with 56 seconds left. And he nonetheless managed to notch 21 factors and 17 rebounds as he made 8 of 12 from the road.

“I couldn’t throw a rock within the ocean, goodness,” Randle stated.

Barrett made the important thing defensive play when he knocked away an Aaron Gordon cross with 40 seconds left with Reggie Bullock choosing up the unfastened ball. Barrett completed it with a fastbreak layup for a 85-81 lead.

They went 40 back-to-backs and not using a sweep – a testomony to the Knicks’ preparation underneath Thibodeau. The Knicks’ two-game successful streak superior their file to 7-8 on the 15-game mark, exceeding preseason expectations.

This wasn’t an offensive gem in any respect, however the Knicks led for a lot of the first half as their protection held the Magic to a paltry 13 factors within the first quarter.

The injury-depleted Magic (6-8) misplaced their sixth straight. They’re lacking Evan Fournier, Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac, amongst others.

Magic rookie level guard Cole Anthony, a Manhattan product in his first sport in opposition to the Knicks, made two 3-pointers however shot simply 2 of 12.

rj barrett knicks magic recap result score
RJ Barrett
Getty Photos

In the meantime, the Knicks received a lot better level guard play. Starter Elfrid Payton, Orlando’s former PG, scored 12 factors and had 4 assists.

Knicks rookie level guard revelation Immanuel Quickley continued to be a jolt of offense as he piled up 11 factors in 11 minutes within the first half, hitting his customary array of driving floaters. However he was scoreless within the second half.

Although they traveled again from Boston early Sunday evening, they Knicks had been on the Backyard court docket at 10 a.m. to carry their morning shootaround.

Orlando was a one-man gang within the opening interval led by All-Star middle Nikola Vucevic. In any other case, the remainder of the Magic failed to indicate.

Vucevic was scorching 4 of 5 whereas his teammates had been 1 of 17 within the first interval. The Knicks out-hustled the Magic all half in constructing a 47-38 lead.

Although no factors got here out of it, the Knicks managed a five-shot possession within the second quarter, chasing down unfastened balls and offensive boards.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *