Knicks first-rounder RJ Barrett had himself a solid game as Kevin Knox and the starters pushed an insurmountable margin against the Lakers in Vegas on Wednesday.
In one last showdown between two winless teams, before Summer League playoffs begin, it seemed that the Knicks were the ones who saved their best for last.
The New York Knicks (1-3) triumphed over the Los Angeles Lakers (0-4) in a wire-to-wire 117-96 victory.
It was a solid, all-around team effort for the SummerKnicks, who saw their entire starting five score in double figures. Kevin Knox led the way with 25 points, followed by R.J. Barrett (21 points), Ignas Brazdeikis (16), Kadeem Allen (13), and Mitchell Robinson (13).
The Knicks set the tone early, starting the game off with a quick 9-0 run to take the lead from opening tip-off. The Lakers eventually settled in, but once they caught up to the Knicks, New York ramped up the intensity. The Knicks went on to rattle off 33 points in the first quarter, already working at a rate that surpassed the 39 second half points they had in the loss to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.
Once the Knicks pushed the lead into double figures, they hardly looked back. New York took a 66-44 lead at halftime. Although they loosened up in the fourth quarter, the Knicks’ lead was never in jeopardy.
Zach Norvell Jr. paced the Lakers with 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including a 4-for-6 clip from long range. Codi Miller-McIntyre added 15 points, seven boards, five assists, and three steals.
- The Knicks’ ball movement was much better this time around, as they assisted on almost two-thirds of their made shots; 24 assists on 39 made shots. They spread the wealth, and the Lakers didn’t seem to have a way to stop New York’s fluid offense.
- Mitchell Robinson is a grown man that’s clearly head and shoulders above the Summer League competition. It’s great that he’s getting the extra reps and playing time—yet another efficient double-double for him and another solid performance protecting the rim under his belt. Robinson finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and five blocks. He was a perfect 6-for-6 on the floor.
It’s laughable that players still decide to shoot on Mitch pic.twitter.com/Q5kcnSrATD— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) July 11, 2019
- It’s Summer League, and it’s way too early too tell, but it’s really starting to look like Ignas Brazdeikis is another quality gem. It might be time to invest stock in the second-round draftee, who put on another great display on the floor. He bounced back from his quiet game against Toronto with 16 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block, as well as a smooth 4-of-5 showing from three-point range. This play was something to behold:
OHHHHHHH ??? pic.twitter.com/RBg9nCDAQm— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) July 11, 2019
- R.J. Barrett is starting to find his groove and confidence on the floor. He wasn’t that efficient—just 6-of-17 shooting overall—but the way he’s able to attack the basket and get to the line are great signs early. He’ll eventually learn how to finish those looks more and the buckets will come with experience, but even when he’s not scoring you can see the way he is able to impact the glass and set up his teammates. It was another double-double for Barrett, who had 21 points and 10 rebounds, chipping in three assists.
Maple Mamba up to 21 points tonight! pic.twitter.com/Li3esv50hm— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) July 11, 2019
- Consistency will be the key for Kevin Knox this season, and the more he can dial up performances like the one he had against the Lakers—the better off the Knicks will be. We’ve seen the athleticism, the highlights, and we know what he’s capable of, it’ll just be a matter of putting it all together and having more efficient nights like the 7-of-12 showing en route to a game-high 25 points.
AHHHHHH KNOX BABY pic.twitter.com/Oy8fxLUJ7q— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) July 11, 2019
- Kadeem Allen had a quietly good night. 13 points, on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting performance—which included a pair of threes—combined with six assists (and no turnovers) is nothing to scoff at. He helped run the floor and get the flow of the offense going, but it was a solid night for him as well.