The Knicks‘ short two-game winning streak was snapped after their 111-101 loss to the Warriors on Friday night.
In the team’s third of their five-game West Coast road trip, coach Tom Thibodeau started the usual five: RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Cam Reddish, Isaiah Hartenstein and Jalen Brunson against the Warriors.
Here are the takeaways….
– The Knicks started off cold, settling and missing from the three-point line. That led to easy transition buckets for the Warriors, especially Klay Thompson who scored eight quick points in the first three minutes of the first quarter. It didn’t get much better for the Knicks, as the Warriors took advantage of poor shooting and defense from New York to build a double-digit lead.
With five minutes remaining, Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley checked in for Brunson and Barrett. The rotation didn’t change the Knicks’ offensive and defensive woes. The entire team seemed lethargic in the opening quarter.
Nothing fell for the Knicks in the first. Quickley layups, Obi Toppin dunks, all fell short. New York shot just 5-of-21 (24%) including 0-for-10 from three. The Warriors, on the other hand, shot 52 percent including 7-of-13 from three to take a 35-19 lead after one.
– Jericho Sims, Quickley, Barrett, Toppin and Rose started the second. Barrett knocked down the team’s first three with nine minutes left in the second. Prior to it, he had missed his last 19 shots from downtown. With six minutes remaining in the first half, Thibodeau went small with the Toppin/Randle lineup. Coach Thibs was trying every lineup he could think of to try and get the offense going. It didn’t help much, but things turned around.
With about five minutes to go, the threes started to go down. The team went on a run of hitting six of their last eight threes to cut the Warriors lead to 15. New York went on a 14-3 run to end the first half down 61-50. The Knicks’ defense clamped down, and the Warriors shot just 35 percent in the second quarter. Randle (13) and Brunson (11) led the Knicks scoring in the first half, and were the only ones in double-digits.
– Barrett, Randle, Reddish, Hartenstein and Brunson started for the Knicks in the third quarter. All the work the Knicks did to cut the lead to 11 went away in this frame. Poor defense and turnovers helped the Warriors build their lead back up to 20 with three minutes to go. The Knicks let the Warriors cut to the hoop while they defended Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, leading to easy buckets.
A late run in the closing minutes helped the Knicks cut the lead to 87-74. Similar to the first quarter, the Knicks shot poorly (35%) while the Warriors shot at a 50 percent clip. Reddish went down awkwardly in the third when he was fouled by Draymond Green. He went to the locker room with a sore right groin, per the team, and did not return.
– In the last two games, the Knicks outscored their opponents 61-45 in the fourth quarter, but that trend would not continue Friday. Sims, Rose, Quickley, Barrett and Toppin started the final quarter, but the same problems as the third quarter reared its head. Bad defense, turnovers and poor shooting.
The Knicks did cut the lead to single-digits with six-and-a-half minutes to go, but it was short-lived. The Warriors continued to out-hustle and make their shots while the Knicks’ poor shooting continued, which led to poor transition defense. With two minutes remaining, Thibodeau emptied the bench.
Randle led the Knicks with 20 points while Barrett added 18. Reddish, Brunson and Sims were the only other Knicks to score in double-digits. Sims also had his second double-double of the season, posting 10 rebounds. Overall, the Knicks shot just 34 percent while the Warriors shot 46 percent and hovered around 50 percent throughout the game.
The Knicks continue their road trip as they head to Phoenix to take on the Suns on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.