D-Rose inspires Knicks to win at Staples Center
The New York Knicks cut their losing streak at two with a victory over the LA Clippers on Sunday night. This win being another huge step towards earning home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. As for LA, they lose ground on Utah in the race for top spot in the West.
The Clippers started hot and began the game with a 10-0 run as they looked to establish their authority early. However the Knicks were inspired by their bench, Derrick Rose making an instant impact midway through the first as New York wrestled back the deficit to lead late in the first.
This surge wasn't enough to take the lead into the second quarter as the Clippers went in with a three point advantage.
The Knicks bench continued to impress early in the second as back to back three's from Obi Toppin & Frank Ntilikina levelled the game. New York were fighting hard on offense but could not force consistent stops on defense allowing the Clippers to re-establish a nine point lead late in the second quarter.
Just like in the first, Rose was the inspiration to get the Knicks back in the game. Back to back buckets brought his first half tally to 19 and New York to within one point of the lead. With their final possession of the half, Julius Randle found RJ Barrett in the corner and he connected from three to give the Knicks the lead at the break. HT: Knicks 56-54 Clippers.
Both teams came out cold to begin the second half before the Knicks defense began to show its worth for the first time in the game midway through the third.
Seven straight empty possessions for LA gave the Knicks the chance to stretch their lead and they took full advantage. Reggie Bullock & RJ Barrett each hit from deep to give New York a 10 point advantage but the Clippers refused to roll over and a pair of quick buckets cut the lead back to five heading into the fourth.
Paul George closed the gap to three with the opening bucket of the final period but that was as good as it got for LA. A pair of three's from Derrick Rose was complimented by yet another crucial treble from RJ Barrett to keep the Clippers at arms length.
Julius Randle struggled on offense all game but showed his star-power by taking over for New York in clutch time. Randle stretched the lead to eight with 2:52 remaining before securing the win with some isolation ball. A fadeaway over Nicolas Batum was followed up by the same play over Paul George with 39.7 seconds remaining to once again establish an eight point lead.
Kawhi Leonard did his utmost to keep LA in the game, hitting three free throws before another treble gave him 13 fourth quarter points but it wasn't enough as the Knicks hung on for a crucial win. Derrick Rose led the way for New York with 25 pts 6 rebs & 8 assists while Reggie Bullock added 24 points & RJ Barrett had a well rounded performance with 18 pts 7 rebs 4 ast 2 stl & one block. Final Score at Staples Center-Knicks 106-100 Clippers
The Knicks sit one game ahead of Atlanta and Miami with four games to play while the Clippers sit just one game clear of the fourth place Denver Nuggets in the West.