Knicks get revenge on Charlotte for 7th straight win
The New York Knicks made it seven wins on the bounce, thanks to a third quarter masterclass from RJ Barrett against the Charlotte Hornets.
The Hornets remain in playoff contention but they have now lost five of their last six games, the only win coming against Portland.
The Knicks had reason to be confident having won six straight games and they started like it, beginning the game at the Garden 6-0 and stretching their lead to as big as nine in the quarter. However, the Hornets began to knock down from deep after a slow start.
Charlotte hit eight trebles in the first quarter, including five from PJ Washington off the bench, to claw back the game and go into the second with a three point lead.
Bench scoring proved crucial for the Knicks once again on Tuesday night with Rose & Quickley hitting some key buckets as the Knicks re-took the lead.
Quickley hit all 17 of his points in the second quarter which included 4 three's but ultimately it just kept New York in the game at the half as the Hornets remained hot from deep as a team and the Knicks struggled to cope with their offensive pace. HT: Hornets 66-60 Knicks.
The Knicks came out in the second half with defensive intent and there was a 12 point swing in their favour inside the first five minutes of the third.
RJ Barrett edged the Knicks ahead with his second three pointer of the game and kept them there with an impressive 18 points in the quarter, including four three pointers. The Knicks had given up 66 points in the first half but held Charlotte to just 16 in the third as they showed why they are one of the elite defensive teams in the NBA.
Julius Randle had a quiet night by his standards so far this season, finishing with 16 pts 10 rebs & 7 assists, but he too appeared to spring into life off the back of the impressive defensive performance in the third. As the Knicks went into the fourth with a nine point lead having been down six at the half.
The Hornets twice closed to within seven points in the fourth but Barrett hit his sixth three of the game with 3:36 remaining, to stretch the lead to 10 and ice the game for New York, tying his career high for three's made in a game in the process.
The Knicks allowed just 31 points in the second half and that gave them the platform to secure their seventh straight win. The bench was once again crucial as Derrick Rose & Immanuel Quickley combined for 34 points.
The Knicks move up to fifth place in the East but they have played a game more than the Celtics while the Hornets remain in pole position for a play-in tournament place. Final Score at MSG: Hornets 97-109 Knicks