The Knicks bore witness to NBA history when Stephen Curry sunk a record-breaking three-pointer. The rest, well, was mostly a letdown at a packed Madison Square Garden.

Well, let’s just get it out of the way. With 7:33 remaining in the first period, the greatest shooter in the history of the NBA, Stephen Curry, broke the all-time NBA three-point field goals made record with the previous record holder, Ray Allen, sitting courtside. Madison Square Garden, famously the “mecca of basketball” was the host of yet another remarkable moment in sports history as Curry made his 2,974th career three-pointer and was embraced by all of the basketball world. After the sports world embraced this incredible moment, teams returned to the hardwood and continued the game.

The New York Knicks lost Tuesday’s contest (12-16) with the Golden State Warriors (23-5) by a final score of 105-96. The Knicks continue their putrid play at home, falling to 5-10 in Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks, along with the rest of the NBA, have been decimated by COVID-19 and came into tonight’s game without starting wing RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, and Quentin Grimes, the last of whom was coming off of his career night Sunday against the Bucks in which he scored 27 points. This led to some really interesting rotations from head coach Tom Thibodeau, to put it kindly.

Derrick Rose started at point guard tonight and came out of the gates on fire, having 10 points and three assists in the first period, but cooled off and ended the game with 15 points. The rotations became so wonky tonight due to three rotational players being out, at one point Alec Burks shared the court with Miles McBride, Immanuel Quickley, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson. Knox almost had a massive dunk in transition that surely would’ve caused The Garden to explode in the first half.

Julius Randle had a nice bounce-back game after his eight-point performance Sunday against the Bucks. The majority of his work came in the second half, but he ended the contest with 31 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals. The one-time All-Star was more aggressive in his approach as a scorer tonight. He tends to hesitate a lot when driving or shooting when he shouldn’t, but games like tonight show what he is capable of when he’s not playing timidly.

Evan Fournier on the other hand did not have a strong performance after his recent struggles. The Frenchman’s play as of late is absolutely inexcusable on both ends. Makes and misses you cannot control as a player sometimes, but one thing you always can is your effort level, and Fournier has routinely been a victim of standing in the corner doing nothing on offense or standing with his feet in cement on defense and pointing. For example, here is this play with Draymond Green. Draymond green cuts to the basket after Looney gets the ball around the foul line and collapses the defense, Fournier notices this, but instead of moving off his man in the corner to force either a contested shot, a pass, or a foul, he points in the direction of the cutting Green as he throws down a monstrous slam.

Thibodeau has completely gone away from the Randle/Fournier two-man dribble hand-off action that resulted in much success to start the year for some reason, and he should take some flak for that when it comes to Fournier’s lack of effectiveness offensively, but the rest is all on the former Magic guard, he has to be better. He ended tonight’s contest with two points and one rebound in 29 minutes with a team-worst -13.

Outside of Randle having a nice overall game, there are not too many more positives to pull from tonight. “Deuce” McBride had a few nice plays and stretches, but with Thibodeau’s inconsistent rotations, it’s hard to know how much of an impact he’ll have on a night-to-night basis right now.

The Knicks are now 1-8 in their last seven games and are four games below .500. They have a chance to get back on the right track this Thursday in Houston against the Rockets before heading to Boston Saturday night in a rematch of the opening night double-overtime thriller with the Celtics.

 

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