The Knicks squandered a chance to beat the Celtics in Boston, allowing Jayson Tatum to go on a big fourth-quarter run.
The New York Knicks (5-5) suffered defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics (8-2) for the second time this season with a 114-98 loss tonight at TD Garden.
New York held a one-point lead at the half in Beantown but faded in the final two frames, being outscored by a total of 17 points. The C’s big three did a number on the Knicks once again, highlighted by Jayson Tatum’s 35 points (17 in the fourth quarter), seven rebounds and six assists. Jaylen Brown and old friend Kristaps Porzingis each eclipsed the 20-point mark in the victory as Boston moves to 5-0 at home this season.
A clear championship contender, the Celtics exposed the talent and depth gap between themselves tonight. Not only did the big three torch New York but defensive stalwart Jrue Holiday played a huge role, as well as bench shooter Sam Hauser, who knocked down four of Boston’s 19 three-pointers on the evening
With RJ Barrett out this evening due to a migraine, the Knicks’ offense lacked juice, being held under 100 points for the third time already this season. Immanuel Quickley and Donte DiVincenzo, who were being looked upon to pick up the slack at the guard position in Barrett’s absence, shot a combined 3-16, scoring only 12 points. Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle played well, but it wasn’t enough, as the ‘Bockers couldn’t keep up with the C’s high-powered attack.
A career 20.5, point per game scorer against the Celtics on 47.9% from three, per Stat Muse, the Maple Mamba being out was a big blow for the Knicks, who are now 0-3 with Barrett sidelined this season. Very tough pill to swallow for the R.J. detractors out there.
On a positive note, Julius Randle had another nice showing tonight to the tune of 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists. After a historically awful start to the season, Randle has scored at least 23 points in each of the last four games and has shot the rock at a much more efficient clip.
Clearly, there are still some frustrating moments watching him play, but if Julius’ improved performances can continue, along with a healthy R.J. Barrett and Jalen Brunson in the mix, the Knicks are going to win a lot of games.
Tough Roads Ahead
In a game that featured some oddball plays, like I-Hart’s desperation banker from three or Josh Hart’s heads-up throw off the back of Jrue Holiday, it was a mostly forgettable performance for the Knicks — one you have to just brush off and move on from.
What in the hell did Josh Hart just do pic.twitter.com/85uV1MBuKO
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) November 14, 2023
The schedule does not get easier for the Knicks, who, aside from Washington and Charlotte twice, face a tough November remaining schedule, including matchups against the Hawks, Wolves, Suns and Heat. The Knicks cannot afford to have putrid offensive performances like they did tonight if they want to keep up with the gauntlet of scoring superstars they have to square off in the next few weeks.
Luckily for the Knicks, Barrett should be back Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks. Expect IQ to be much better than he was tonight, too.