Knicks battle back in 4th quarter to eventually win in O/T
The Knicks fought back from 13 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Grizzlies in over-time on Friday night after back to back losses to the Nets & Celtics.
Memphis spurned a great opportunity to win their 27th game of the season after going 21-34 from the free throw line and blowing a double digit fourth quarter lead.
The Knicks took an early 3-1 lead but ended the first quarter down 12 and wouldn't lead again until the over-time period.
Barrett and Randle were struggling early on so Coach Thibs was forced to call on his bench and they answered. Derrick Rose led the way with 13 first half points with rookies, Immanuel Quickley & Obi Toppin also providing some crucial scoring. HT: Grizzlies 60-51 Knicks.
The Knicks were staring down the barrel of a third straight defeat with Ja Morant finding his touch early in the third quarter.
Luckily for New York their starters began to make some plays to go along with their benches scoring but they still went into the fourth quarter with a double digit deficit thanks to a 12 point third quarter from Morant.
The Knicks started the fourth quarter well and closed to within eight points, thanks to Quickley & Rose but that burst seemed to give Memphis the kick they needed to push on and secure the win as they quickly pushed the lead back out to 13 points with less than six minutes remaining.
The Knicks got their starters back on the floor and they showed their class to cut Memphis's lead to six points with just over a minute remaining. Julius Randle hit a layup to cut the lead to three before RJ Barrett hit three free throws with just 37 seconds remaining to level the scores for the first time.
Grizzlies free throw shooting began to haunt them after that, Ja Morant & Jonas Valanciunas both had the chance to secure the win at the line but could only manage one make a piece and RJ Barrett took full advantage as he hit a driving layup to once again level the scores with just 8 seconds remaining.
Morant & Valanciunas were once again given the opportunity to win the game with the final shot but Morant's floater rimmed out before Valanciunas missed with the put back and we were headed for over-time.
Dillon Brooks opened the scoring in the extra period with a three before the Knicks snatched the lead for the first time since the opening two minutes of the game thanks to a Barrett layup complimented by a Julius Randle three pointer.
The Grizzlies refused to give up however, Morant & Brooks each hit layups to level the scores once more with just 1:30 left in O/T. The Knicks stayed calm and their star duo combined to give them the lead once more, Randle finding Barrett on the wing for three.
A Brooks treble kept the Grizzlies in touch but some clutch free throws from Quickly & Burks completed the comeback for New York.
After struggling for most of the game, RJ Barrett hit an impressive 15 points in the fourth quarter & overtime while Julius Randle completed his fifth triple double of the season. Final Score O/T: Grizzlies 129-133 Knicks.
Both teams remain in eight place in their respective conferences but Memphis will feel as though they lost this game rather than Knicks winning.