After a three-game slide and some devastating injury news the Knicks, much like they’ve done all season, once again battle through adversity.

The New York Knicks (45-31) made a major comeback against the Sacramento Kings (44-32) at home, finally snapping a three-game skid and defeating the Western Conference postseason threat by a final score of 120-109.

The Knicks were down by a whopping 21 points at one point during the game but completed the bounce back behind some elite scoring from Josh Hart, Jalen Brunson, and Donte DiVincenzo, and much-needed bench scoring from Bojan Bogdanovic.

The contest came just hours after news of Julius Randle’s status for the rest of the season was confirmed: he would be out until next season, opting to get shoulder after re-injuring his dislocated shoulder in full contact practice about five weeks ago according to Bleacher Reports’ Chris Haynes.

The first opened with a quick score from Domantas Sabonis on Isaiah Hartenstein, something New York would have to anticipate dealing with all night with their usual Sabonis stopper, Randle, out. But, Brunson quickly replied with his own three-point play, finishing through contact and hitting at the charity stripe. De’Aaron Fox looked spry to start, hitting his first three shots and gathering eight points immediately. Hartenstein was diming his teammates up early on, though, helping New York to keep up with Fox’s output. The threes kept going in for Sacramento, reminiscent of what buried New York in their loss to the Heat earlier in the week. Things started to feel pretty dire at around the four-minute mark of the period, getting nothing going from three and barely completing half their passes. Mitchell Robinson looked bouncy, grabbing a handful of offensive boards and getting the Knicks some much needed second chance points, but the Kings were unrelenting in giving up their lead. Bogdanovic was the second off the bench after Robinson and immediately hit a two off the glass, but Sacramento’s three-point shooting was just too much to handle. New York ended the first down 15 and looked deflated.

Maybe it was the Randle news, or maybe they were finally feeling the wear and tear from a long injury-riddled season, but New York just looked like a shell in the first quarter. They immediately allowed a drive on the first possession of the second, followed by another easy jumper. Bogdanovic looked like the Knick with a knack with seven quick points and two to keep the team slightly involved, but Fox just kept attacking. He had 16 points at the eight-minute mark, and Sacramento was just embarrassing this team and up by 21. Brunson and the rest of New York’s starters were subbed back in at that point, seeking a spark to ignite a lifeless offense. Brunson and DiVincenzo started to get going, and they helped pull the team back to within 13. A nice play between Brunson and Hartenstein brought the lead even closer, to within 11, and New York finally started to lock in defensively. They pulled to within six with about two minutes left in the half. Some sloppy play from both teams led to a discordant end to the second, but New York was more off-kilter defensively and could not climb all the way back just yet. Deuce McBride saw his first three-pointer fall at the end of the period, a great sign with Brunson getting doubled all night, and the Knicks’ deficit to the Kings was only eight.

The third began out of rhythm for both clubs, but Fox was fittingly the first person to score in the second half. Brunson put in a quick jumper of his own in response, but the Knicks were just not putting in effort on the boards to get momentum going early in the half. Hartenstein continued to feed his teammates, and DiVincenzo was ever-reliable from three-point range to pull them back to within six with about eight to go in the third. Their defense was tightening up again, forcing the ball out of Fox’s hands and helping to generate turnovers. It was back-and-forth scoring for much of the quarter, a good thing since New York could not score a basket if it was the size of an ocean in the first quarter, but they had to get stops if they wanted to complete a comeback. After two big steals, the Knicks were within three with three to go, but Fox bumped that lead back up to five with a lightning-quick drive up the floor to the cup. Hart continued his aggressive play on offense, going 10-13 from the field by the two-minute mark in the third. DiVincenzo hit his fifth three of the night with less than a minute to go to tie the game up and hit three clutch free throws after being fouled attempting a sixth-made three. Fox hit a game-tying three over McBride to end the period, but the Knicks had finally crawled back to make things brand new headed into the fourth.

The fourth opened with a Bogdanovic three, getting the Knicks back up by three. He then hit a silky smooth jumper to extend the lead again, but Keegan Murray could not miss from deep – hitting a game-tying shot. Fox hit another three over McBride to get the Kings back the lead. But, New York was slicing through Sacramento’s double teams on Brunson, contributing where he could not due to the looks he was getting. He was still hitting his shots when able, though, getting an emphatic and-one call with about eight minutes to go in the quarter and hitting his free throw to extend New York’s lead to two. Another and-one called for Hart shortly after bringing them to a four-point lead. The Knicks were contesting everything the Kings were throwing up, finally forcing some misses from three. Brunson hit a big three to get them up by ten with about six minutes left in regulation, which was followed by a Sabonis score to bring them back down to Earth just slightly. The lead was still ten with about four to go, and New York finally looked to have found their groove offensively. Hart was especially lights out, hitting the 30-point mark with about two left in the game. The comeback ended up being successful and the Knicks ended a three-game slide.

Brunson had a solid 35 points along with 11 assists, three steals, and two rebounds. Hart had a season-high 31 points, grabbed nine boards, dished out eight assists, and recorded two steals. DiVincenzo finished up with 21 points, five rebounds, one assist, and one block. Hartenstein had nine assists, seven points, seven boards, and two steals. After a slow start, McBride ended up with 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists.

Bogdanovic had a much-needed scoring night, collecting 12 points off the bench along with one rebound. Precious Achiuwa continued to struggle offensively, scoring no points but grabbing three boards. Robinson had two points, seven boards, two assists, and one block. Despite nine minutes on the floor, Alec Burks had no points but had two steals.

The Knicks now go back on the road to go up against the Chicago Bulls tomorrow at 8 PM EST.

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