The Knicks fumbled a late lead on the road against the Suns along with Devin Booker going off to snap their three-gam winning streak.
While the New York Knicks (10-25) looked good early, they were ultimately unable to secure their fourth straight win tonight against the Phoenix Suns (14-21) in the desert, resulting in a 120-112 defeat.
The early going in this game was exactly what Knicks fans could have hoped for as they continued their hot offensive ways of late. The first quarter was one of the more fun outbursts of offense of the year for the Knicks as the attack looked locked in and showed what movement could be allowed for when there was spacing on the court. Veteran wing Reggie Bullock continued his positive contributions in his second game to help in that capacity.
The second quarter continued to go the Knicks’ way as they led by 10 points at the half. That included nice offensive input from Bobby Portis, as well as Julius Randle, who were both in double figures at the half.
I firmly believe there are VERY few people in the league who can guard Julius Randle 1 on 1. BULLY. AND 1. pic.twitter.com/b6k7TKiIVn— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 4, 2020
Along with the offensive firepower shown in the first half, the real story was the defense as the Suns were 0-for-9 from downtown at halftime.
The second half showed a significant change as the Suns started the third quarter with an 10-0 run to quickly undo the lead New York had built. That hot offense that would continue throughout the rest of the game as the Suns were 10-of-19 from beyond the arc in the second half. All-Star hopeful Devin Booker was a key part of that as he scored 21 of his 38 total points in the second half, Kelly Oubre Jr. added 29 of his own including five triples.
The Knicks led for most of the game but in the fourth quarter Phoenix took the lead 94-93 with a Ricky Rubio three and the lead bounced between the two teams until the Suns eventually pulled away in the last few minutes, snapping a five-game home losing streak for Phoenix.
The fourth quarter showed the worst of the Knicks with turnovers and missed free throws continuing to cast a dark cloud over the team—both of which aided in the Suns’ rally to victory late, including Phoenix winning the points off turnover battle 19-4.
It was a disappointing end for Knicks acolytes as the 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter cost them a game that certainly looked winnable for much of the contest
- Rookie swingman R.J. Barrett continued his poor shooting as of late, going 3-of-10 from the field and 1-for-6 from deep.
- Elfrid Payton got the start after not being expected to play, instead flying in separately after the birth of his child. He finished with 15 points along with six assists and five rebounds.
This… this is basketball pic.twitter.com/03Te7wbmQt— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 4, 2020
- Randle’s hot offense regressed to the mean of sorts. While he finished with 13 and 13, he only shot 5-of-17 in the game and missed six attempts from long range.
- Bobby Portis contributed 20 points off the bench and including a trio of three-pointers.
- Not only did the Knicks lose the game, but they also failed to cover of the seven-point spread assigned in Las Vegas with a late backdoor cover for the Suns.
- The lead changed hands 26 times throughout the game with the largest margin going to the Knicks by 11.
The Knicks try to regain their winning ways in what will surely be a difficult game Sunday on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers at 3:30 p.m. EST.