The Knicks survived a fourth-quarter scare by the Detroit Pistons, winning 121-112 on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Here are the key takeaways…
– Debuting their City Connect uniforms, New York’s starting five to begin the night was RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Isaiah Hartenstein, Cam Reddish and Jalen Brunson. It was Hartenstein’s third start of the season while Reddish made his fourth start.
– The Knicks struggled from deep to start the game and scored their first 16 points from the paint. Barrett changed that with a three-pointer, New York’s first of the night, to bring his team to within one at 20-19 with 3:54 left in the quarter.
Prior to that made three, the Knicks had missed their first seven shots from deep.
– With 3:38 remaining in the quarter, a familiar face entered the game as former Knick Alec Burks checked in for Jaden Ivey. It marked the first appearance as a Piston for Burks.
– Burks brought his new team to within two points after hitting a three-pointer with 5.9 seconds left, but Derrick Rose ran down the court and made a floater with 2.1 seconds on the clock to give the Knicks a 30-26 lead after one, despite the team shooting 1-of-10 from three.
– After logging just five minutes against the Nets on Wednesday, Quentin Grimes, who has been dealing with a sore left foot for most of the season, entered with 7:43 remaining in the half. Less than a minute later he scored his first points of the game on a layup that gave New York a 13-point lead.
With 4:31 left in the half, Grimes drained a three to make it 58-42, which was the largest lead of the half. Overall, the Knicks shot better from beyond the arc in the second quarter than they did in the first, going 6-for-16, but still ended the half shooting 7-for-26 from deep.
– Detroit went on a mini 9-0 run towards the end of the half that allowed them to creep closer and pull within seven points. Randle’s two made free throws with 39.4 seconds left in the half put an end to New York’s scoring drought and Barrett’s three-pointer, with just under 10 seconds to go, put the Knicks up 12.
– Barrett led all scorers going into halftime with 20 points and New York led the Pistons 68-58 with two quarters remaining.
– An 11-4 run by the Knicks to start the third quarter lengthened their lead to a game-high 17 points.
– After that, both teams struggled to put up points on a consistent basis and New York’s ineptitude from behind the three-point line reared its ugly head once again. The only three-pointer made by the Knicks in the quarter came from Immanuel Quickley with 1:12 left in the quarter.
Through three quarters, the Knicks led 94-80.
– Things got interesting in the fourth quarter as the Pistons got out to a quick 9-2 run to cut their deficit in half.
As bad as New York shot from three, Detroit was even worse heading into the fourth quarter. That all changed in the final 12 minutes as the Pistons drained four threes, one more than they hit in the first three quarters.
– A few times Detroit pulled to within six points but it seemed every time the Pistons got closer, Brunson had an answer.
– Still, the Pistons just would not go away and got to within four points with 1:20 left in the game after Bojan Bogdanovic hit two free throws. After that, the Knicks clamped down and finished the game on a 7-2 run, highlighted by Quickley’s three-pointer with 40.5 seconds left that made it 119-110.
– Barrett, Brunson and Randle were the only Knicks to score in double-digits and combined for 77 points in the win.
The Knicks welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder to Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Nov. 13 for a 12 p.m. matinee.