Another game another loss. But the Knicks are getting closer. As close as you can come — the Knicks lost this final preseason game by 1 point, 117 to 116 at Madison Square Garden on a missed Julius Randle 3 at the buzzer on a Friday night while the Yankees were winning Game 5 of their ALCS against Houston at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
This was a game in which: RJ Barrett looked great again, Julius Randle hit big 3’s in the 4th and passed well out of the post, and most notably — Allonzo Trier DOMINATED the 4th as a SCORING MACHINE.
.@RjBarrett6 with another monster preseason performance. @alanhahn breaks it down for you pic.twitter.com/Ugp3VZbbh6
— MSG Networks (@MSGNetworks) October 19, 2019
Elfrid Payton started the 4th as the point, but the Knicks ended with a finishing lineup of Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Allonzo Trier, and Dennis Smith Jr.
With the Knicks down 88-83 at start of the 4th (and the score just coming in that the Yanks had won 4-1), Allonzo Trier drove baseline for a bucket, then hit a 3 from the corner the next time down to tie the game at 88-88. New Orleans’s Frank Johnson hit a wide open 3 but Kevin Knox came back with a pretty lefty drive down the lane for a bucket to make it 91-90. New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram hit a wide open 3 to make it 94-90 as the Pelicans began to build back their lead.
Trier a Scoring Machine
Allonzo Trier continued to put on a scoring show in the 4th attacking the basket relentlessly in the half and full court.
My goodness, Allonzo Trier is such a bucket pic.twitter.com/gVoB3dzZz2
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) October 12, 2019
Still the Knicks found themselves down by 12 with 4 minutes left. Dennis Smith Jr dribbled by himself outside and then threw up a 3 which missed.
Julius Randle hit three 3’s in a row to pull the Knicks to within 5 with 1:45 left. Randle also showed passing prowess out of the post all night long — finishing with 5 assists.
Unfortunately with the Knicks down 116-114 and the Garden electrified, Trier missed two consecutive 3’s with 34 seconds and 29 seconds left — both bounced off the front of the rim (the miss, a Mitchell Robinson offensive rebound and pass out to Trier in the same spot for another try).
Down 117 – 116 with 12 seconds left, Randle intercepted the ball and drove the other way down the lane but got stripped by Alexander Walker. The Knicks fouled Josh Hart who missed both free throws to give the Knicks a chance with 2.9 seconds left.
Trier inbounded to Randle for the final shot but Randle missed the 3. One might imagine someone else inbounding to Trier for a penetration, vs leaving it to an outside 3-pt jumper.
Trier finished with 17 points on 5-12 and 6-8 from the free throw line — the Knicks offensive game plan down the stretch was to get the ball into Trier’s hands on every possession.
RJ Barrett looked great again, and filled up the boxscore: 19 pts on 9 for 12 shooting, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and a +6.
Jahlil Okafor started in place of an injured Derrick Favors and did well — 13 pts, 9 rebounds on 4-8 shooting (although 5-10 from the free throw line and 5 turnovers).
Zion Williamson was out of this game with the knee issue, and is expected to miss the first few weeks of the season with what is being called a minor knee issue.
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