The Knicks rebounded from this weekend’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers by defeating the Memphis Grizzlies, 123-113, on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Here are some takeaways…
– The Knicks played shorthanded again in this one as OG Anunoby (right elbow inflammation), Quentin Grimes (right knee sprain), and Jericho Sims (illness) were all ruled out. As a result, head coach Tom Thibodeau stuck with the same starting five he’s rolled with for the past four games in Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Hart, Precious Achiuwa, and Isaiah Hartenstein.
It was all Knicks from the beginning, as Brunson picked up right where he left off following his stellar performance against the Lakers, knocking down 7-of-10 shots in the first quarter for 17 early points. The rest of New York’s offense got off to a strong start as well, shooting 14-of-21 from the field and picking up nine assists in the opening frame to jump out to a 33-24 lead.
– New York continued their offensive onslaught early in the second, and the bench got in on the fun with veteran big man Taj Gibson seeing some time and contributing a pair of baskets, followed by back-to-back threes from Miles ‘Deuce’ McBride and Malachi Flynn to stretch the lead up to 20.
The Knicks’ offense went on to finish a lights out first half with 70 points on 64 percent shooting from the field and 53 percent from behind the arc to go along with 20 assists. Achiuwa continued his strong play since jumping into the starting lineup with 11 points, two rebounds, and two assists over the first 24 minutes of action.
– After both teams got off to a bit of a lackadaisical start out of the locker room, frustration began boiling over for Memphis as head coach Taylor Jenkins and guard Luke Kennard were hit with technical fouls early in the frame. New York’s offense quickly settled back into a groove and they continued to add on to their commanding lead led by Brunson and DiVincenzo.
– Memphis couldn’t miss from three-point land to open up the fourth, and an 18-1 scoring run helped them cut the lead down to as little as nine points. To make matters even worse for the Knicks, Brunson had a bit of a scare, as he limped off the court and walked under his own power to the locker room after rolling his ankle on a drive to the hoop.
With their star point guard out, the Knicks continued letting the Grizzlies hang around as they cut the lead all the way down to four, but timely baskets from DiVincenzo and Achiuwa helped them pull out the victory.
Brunson never returned but he finished another strong outing with 27 points on 11-of-21 shooting, eight assists, three rebounds, and three steals. DiVincenzo topped the 20-point mark for the fifth straight game, finishing with 32 on 12-of-17 shooting to go along with five rebounds and five assists.
Achiuwa put together another strong outing with 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a block. Hart put together another 10 point-10 rebound double-double and Hartenstein finished with 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting.
McBride saw extended minutes off the bench and he took advantage of the opportunity, contributing 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting to go along with three rebounds and two assists.
The Knicks continue their homestand on Thursday night when they welcome Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks to the Garden in a 7:30 p.m. nationally televised contest.