Decent performances from Frank Ntilikina and Tim Hardaway Jr. were overshadowed by a blowout loss to the Thunder at home.
Following a heartbreaking loss across the pond to the Washington Wizards, the Knicks returned to the Garden for an MLK day matinee against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After going down early, the Knicks never found their stride in an embarrassing 127-109 loss to the Thunder.
Let’s take a peek at some of the top moments from today’s contest.
PG-13 Goes Off
Following a 31-point outing over the Philadelphia 76ers, which included a miraculous game-winning four-point bucket, Paul George continued his momentum in the Garden on Monday. PG-13 posted 31 points, four rebounds, and four assists in just 31 minutes of play. It was a truly remarkable performance from George, who continues to have a career-year in his second season with the Thunder. The Knicks simply had no answers for George.
Paul George leads all scorers after the 1st quarter with 13 PTS! #ThunderUp— NBA (@NBA) January 21, 2019
?: @NBATV pic.twitter.com/F522bmAqXT
In what seems to be a reoccurring theme, the Knicks lose, yet Tim Hardaway Jr. has another solid scoring outing. Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks with 23 points (7-of-14), three assists, and two rebounds. Although having a very inconsistent year shooting a dismal 39 percent from the field, THJ continues to be the go-to scoring option on this tanking Knicks unit.
TIMMY! pic.twitter.com/ML0GQb1kPl— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 21, 2019
Frank Shows Life
In an utterly awful game, Frank Ntilikina remains one of the bright spots for the Knicks, posting his best game since coming back from an ankle injury he suffered against the Lakers earlier this month. The French Prince posted nine points and five assists in 30 minutes of play. He also showed his defensive prowess at various points in the game. This was highlighted at the end of the first, when Ntilikina was switched onto Paul George and forced him into a heavily contested three that he missed at the buzzer.
Ntilikina gets switched onto Paul George and puts on the CLAMPS pic.twitter.com/bPVPfE7Eto— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 21, 2019
When on the court, Ntilikina’s impact was noticeable, as he was one of two Knicks (along with Mario Hezonja) to finish the game with a positive plus/minus rating at +3. With the Knicks season already in the books, it will be interesting to watch Frank’s progress throughout the rest of the season. Today was definitely a step in the right direction.
FRANKIE DIMES— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 21, 2019
Drops it behind for Kanter on the break! pic.twitter.com/bsHKFYBbWL
After posting a career-high 31 points against the Philadelphia 76ers, Kevin Knox scored just five points on 2-of-11 from the field in London. Knox’s struggles continued today, as he finished with eight points (3-of-8), four rebounds, and two assists. Knox struggled with his shot from the start, while also getting into foul trouble, finishing the game with five personal fouls. Knox also posted a team-worst -22 plus/minus rating, further highlighting his struggles on the court. After a dominant December and early January, Knox has seemed to hit the rookie wall the past two games.
Where was the defense? The Knicks gave up 67 points in the first half en route to Oklahoma City dropping a staggering 127. The worst three-point shooting team in the league went 15-for-29 (51.7 percent) from beyond the arc and 45-of-83 (54.2 percent) from the field. The Thunder had open and uncontested looks throughout the game. This along with the Knicks struggles offensively painted a recipe for disaster.
WE WANT FELTON
To add insult to injury, late in the fourth, MSG erupted in cheers for former Knicks point guard Raymond Felton. With the action the fans were forced to watch on the court, can you really blame them?
Knicks fans started a cheer for their former PG Raymond Felton and the OKC bench joined in. ? pic.twitter.com/tec1snCMnX— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 21, 2019
The Tank Tour Continues
The lone bright spot of these nonstop Knick losses is the impact it will have on their lottery pick. Currently, the Knicks possess the second worst record in the NBA, sitting 14th in the Eastern Conference at 10-35. Which means, a loss like this just brings them one step closer to the chosen one.
The Knicks are back in action on Wednesday, January 23, as they face James Harden and the Houston Rockets at home.