Ebene Magazine – Knicks Nip Pacers hit .500, finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference


Twice in the past 10 days, the Knicks had missed opportunities to push their record to the 500 mark, resulting in unsightly losses for both the magic and the warriors.

They seemed on their way to one to be another missed chance to equalize their record and rise in the gloomy Eastern Conference on Saturday evening. However, the up-and-coming squad of coach Tom Thibodeau stormed back after a 16-point deficit in the first half and took fourth place in the playoffs with a tough 110:10 win against the Pacers at the Garden.

The Knicks improved to 17-17 and got stuck as the Raptors enter the worst Detroit of the conference (9-24) on Sunday. They opened between 17 and 42 last season in particular and ended with 21 wins in 66 games.

« I didn’t know, but it feels good to be at .500. This is my first time since 500 for a long time, « said Derrick Rose, who was taken over by the Pistons on February 7th. We have an important game [Sunday].

 » This game is more important than today’s game and we have to go with the same Get an advantage, if not more. « 

Rose started in place of the injured Elfrid Payton (thigh) for a second game in a row and scored 17 points with 11 assists and five steals for the Knicks who made the season series ( 2-1) from Indiana.

Julius Randle filled the statistic sheet again with 28 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, including two key free throws in the last minute, after which he said he was in his matchup with All-Star Striker Domantas Sabonis, who finished with only 15 points, was particularly motivated .

« It’s all man, just as a competitor. Sometimes there are just single matchups that you take – not personally or nothing at all, as you don’t like the other, just personally from a competition standpoint, ”said Randle. « So it was. It was the matchup of the [season] series as a team.

 » And we felt that we really had to win this game, considering how close the playoff race is. We felt that we really had to win this game. « 

The Knicks, who scored 77 points at halftime in the victory over the Kings on Thursday and ended with a season high of 140, were even 16 points in the second quarter behind the Pacers. But their defense made for a 24-6 run at the end of the second quarter, which culminated with Rose’s direct 3-pointer on the buzzer and created a lead of 54:52 during the break.

« We don’t have the game Started well, it was funky and we had to work our way through. It’s a long game but the most important thing was to find a way to win in the end, « said Thibodeau. » We had a lot of people showing up and making big hits .… We just scratched it out. ”

Immanuel Quickley finished the game with 10 points in 13 minutes – including his second four-point game in as many games early in the fourth quarter.

RJ Barrett joined himself with his fourth 3-pointer of the night and then converted a traditional three-point game to bring the Knicks to 99-98 with 3:32.

He also clang two free throws, with the Knicks 14.6 seconds ahead had two head start, but Rose’s fake theft and F Rank Ntilikina’s two free throws, 2.9 seconds ahead, sealed the Knicks’ sixth win in eight games.

“I have to do better. I can’t miss two, ”said Barrett, who played a strong game with 24 points. “But like you said, we got a big hold. Frank stepped out and knocked them both down and picked me up. It was great. « 

Especially with the teams in fourth and tenth place in the east who are still only separated by one game.

 » It’s been a long season and we have to understand that, « said Thibodeau: « Every game is equally important. One game is no more important than another. They all count the same. Wherever you land, that can be the difference between many things. »

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