The Knicks started off slowly but used steady ball pressure and shot-making from Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley, and Quentin Grimes to blow out the Houston Rockets in Houston, ending NY’s 5-game losing streak.
A gift to the fans to make everyone’s New Year’s Eve happy.
“We’ve shown that we’re one of the best teams in the league; we’re top 5 in several categories. We have to get back to getting our defense tight.”
“It’s the nature of the league,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “You win 8 in a row and then you have some tough losses — last possession type loses. That’s part of it. It’s not what happened to you; it’s how you respond to it. ? We took a haymaker. It stings. And we bounced back.”
NY improves to 19-18; Houston falls to
1. Randle Led the Way
Julius Randle continues to play like an All Star, leading the way. This game: 35 points on 9-20 shooting (5-13 from 3; 12-16 from the free throw line), 12 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Julius Randle has three 35+ point games in last 5 🔥 pic.twitter.com/NuMt9LOl07
— NBA (@NBA) January 1, 2023
As his wife said on Twitter, “Stop playing with him!!!! ALL STAR.”
Stop playing with him!!!! ALL STAR ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
— Kendra Randle (@KendraRandle_) January 1, 2023
2. Quick on Fire
With Jalen Brunson out, Immanuel Quickley continued as the starting point guard, and orchestrated well and hit his shot — 27 points on 9-25 shooting (4-13 from 3, 5-6 in free throws) and 7 assists, with a +25.
3. Grimes Hit His Shot
And with RJ Barrett still out with the cut finger, Quentin Grimes took over as the primary shooting guard — and hit his shot: 8-15 from the floor (3-8 from 3) for 19 points.
Grimes doing it off the dribble 🪣 pic.twitter.com/kQFUjGebwX
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 1, 2023
And the Knick defense shut Houston down with on-ball pressure, and Mitchell Robinson dominating the middle. Robinson was coming off a poor effort against San Antonio, but in this one came out with energy from the start — 12 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks, 6 pts, and a +24 in 33 minutes.
“I thought our ball pressure was a lot better which led to turnovers that got us in the open floor,” said Thibodeau. “Guys played very hard and very unselfishly.”
Miles McBride shot only 1-10 (1-8 from 3) for 5 points but added to the on-ball pressure and had a +17.
5. Fournier in the Rotation
Evan Fournier played for the 2nd straight game — and played well; 8 points on 2-8 shooting (2-6 from 3) and a +7 in 20 minutes.
Cam Reddish remains glued to the bench.