The New York Knicks defeated the Sacramento Kings in their return to Madison Square Garden by a final score of 96-116.
Backup Alec Burks and teammate Evan Fournier each had 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting from 3-point range.
For his part, Julius Randle added 17 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists, breaking a three-game losing streak on the road against Miami, Cleveland and defending champions Milwaukee.
“Obviously we have gone through a slump in the last three games. It’s been a very rough road trip,” Julius Randle admitted to ESPN. “It has been very good for us to come home and start off on the right foot,” he added.
In De’Aaron Fox’s absence with a sprained ankle, second-year point guard Tyrese Haliburton had 21 points and 8 assists; seconded by Davion Mitchell with 18. The Kings have lost 7 consecutive times and 12 in a row on the road. A trend that is beginning to worry his interim coach Alvin Gentry.
“I think the losses are piling up and that’s something they would have to respond to individually,” Gentry said. “And I hope they haven’t thrown in the towel because the opportunity to be an NBA player and the lifestyle that that allows you, I think you have to be pretty crazy to give that up,” he explained.
The public claims Reddish
The Knicks were 29 points ahead in the fourth quarter, and not even for those Tom Thibodeau decided to take out Cam Reddish. However, the New York fans present there did not hesitate to chant the name of the young forward so that they could see him on the parquet. However, it was not until the final stretch of the match when the former Atlantan had his chance.
Reddish had 4 points and 1 steal in four minutes of play while going 4-for-4 from free throws.
“We love our fans. There is no other place in the world they would rather be. And this is the best place to play and everyone knows it. We are lucky because they are passionate about their team. They live and die for us in every game. And we appreciate that very much. And we love that they’re into the game. We have to give them something to be proud of,” explained Tom Thibodeau.
Other standouts for the Knicks were their young players Quentin Grimes and Obi Toppin. The shooter had 14 points in 23 minutes, and his partner added another 14 in just 18 minutes.
With their victory against California, the Knicks are 11th in the East with a record of 24-27, behind Atlanta (24-26); Boston (27-25) and Toronto (25-23). Next Wednesday they host Ja Morant’s Grizzlies and the Kings visit the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
(Cover photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)