The Knicks persisted against a tough matchup with Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers, taking down L.A. with some help from role players.

The New York Knicks (38-30) got back to their winning ways, defeating the Los Angeles Clippers (45-24) by a score of 106-100. New York had come into this Mother’s Day matchup losers of two straight games, but the team found its footing in Los Angeles and was able to secure an impressive win against one of the best teams in basketball. Tonight’s victory marks their first win at the Staples Center against the Clippers since 2010.

The Knicks were led by Reggie Bullock, who contributed a season-high of 24 points, and Derrick Rose who continues his impressive play as a Knick, with 25 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, per ESPN Stats. Bullock and Rose lifted New York in a game where Julius Randle and R.J. Barrett didn’t have their best days offensively. Excellent team basketball has been a huge reason for the Knicks renaissance this season and the victory against the Clippers was a prime example of that. New York was once again fueled by great outside shooting and clutch defense, something that rarely could’ve been said in previous seasons for the orange and blue.

Kawhi Leonard led the charge for L.A. with 29 points, but he didn’t receive much help, as the Clippers weren’t very good from behind the arc (12-for-35), a department in which they usually are extremely successful. Tonight’s loss ends the Clippers’ two-game winning streak, but they maintain the third seed in the Western Conference playoff standings.

Mr. All NBA

Julius Randle, the Knicks’ MVP and someone who should receive serious consideration for NBA MVP, didn’t have his A-game tonight, but still ended up with 14 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists. Randle was not as effective offensively as we are accustomed to but still was able to do enough to help the Knicks to victory. Randle hit a pair of huge shots toward the end of the fourth quarter when the game was tight to keep the Clippers at a distance.

This is MVP-like play from Randle, who seems to have gained tremendous confidence and has become one of the more reliable options toward the end of games. In a game where the Knicks really needed a victory, with a couple of teams on their tails in the standings, Julius took matters into his own hands and made sure the Knicks picked up a win. So impressive.

Additional Game Notes

  • Coming into the game, the Clippers ranked in the top 10 in points per game and three-point percentage and the Knicks held them to only 100 points and kept them at bay from behind the arc.
  • Knicks point guards not named Derrick Rose scored only five points on 2-of-9 from the field, so having Rose step up this evening as key in the Knicks’ victory.
  • Obi Toppin, who continues to improve on his play, contributed seven points in 10 minutes of action. Toppin has taken large strides in his rookie seasons and is earning more and more respect from Tom Thibodeau. The rookie’s improved comfort and confidence have really helped the Knicks with a burst of energy off the bench.

The Knicks are back in action Tuesday in the same building against the banged-up Los Angeles Lakers on TNT at 10 p.m. ET.


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