Knicks fall to lowly Hornets as nine-game win streak snapped


Part of being a successful NBA team is the perception that matchups against lower-tier opponents can be perceived as trap games, especially given the emotional nature of a victory like Sunday’s double-overtime thriller for the Knicks in Boston. come out

Tom Thibodeau’s rolling team fell flat on Tuesday night, blowing a 16-point halftime lead to the Hornets and going 26-5 in the fourth quarter to end a nine-game winning streak in a sluggish 112-105 loss at the Garden. Shot with 5

RJ Barrett scored 27 points, but Julius Randle finished 5-for-17 and 16 for the Knicks, who will embark on a four-game West Coast swing beginning Thursday night in Sacramento.

After missing the Knicks’ double-overtime win Sunday in Boston, starting point guard Jaylen Brunson sat out his second straight game with a sore left foot. Point guard LaMelo Ball (ankle) was also out for the Hornets, who own the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference (21-46).

“I think every game is a trap game. You are right, it is human nature too. You let your guard down a little bit, you’re going to slip,” Thibodeau said before the game. “This league is great. You look at Charlotte’s last 10 games, they’re 5-5.

Julius Randle, who scored just 16 points, argues with an official during the Knicks’ 112-105 loss to the Hornets.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“So if you’re not ready to play … what happened in the last game has nothing to do with this game. So you have to make sure that you get the right amount of preparation and we are ready to play. … They are very athletic and they can score the ball so we have to be at our best.

Kelly Oubre Jr. led Charlotte with 27 points, Terry Rozier added 25 and Gordon Hayward added 23 points.

Before the game, Hornets coach Steve Clifford said he considered Thibodeau “a close friend and a mentor,” so it was no surprise that he praised the streaking Knicks. The opposing bench boss was an assistant coach with the Knicks from 2001-03 and with the Rockets under Jeff Van Gundy from 2004-07.

Tom Thibodeau argued a call during the third quarter of the Knicks loss.
Tom Thibodeau argued a call during the third quarter of the Knicks loss.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“I know that, they have a belief right now, you can see it when they step on the floor,” Clifford said. “At the moment they are scoring. Their offense has been terrible.

Coming off a stellar performance Sunday in Boston — 38 points in 55 minutes — Quickley missed his first five shots, including four from 3-point range, in 10 scoreless minutes in the first quarter. The Knicks shot 3-13 from beyond the arc and were tied 21-21 through one period.

Barrett found his groove alongside the four-man second unit, with 13 points in the first six minutes of the second quarter for 17 before halftime.

RJ Barrett, who scored a team-high 27 points, goes up for a layup during the Knicks loss.
RJ Barrett, who scored a team-high 27 points, goes up for a layup during the Knicks loss.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York PO

Quickley buried his first 3-pointer of the night from the corner for a nine-point cushion, and then hit another from the right wing for a 13-point cushion with 3:14 left until intermission. He converted a traditional three-point play less than a minute later.

Quentin Grimes (12 points) nailed his second 3-pointer of the half before beating the clock with a reverse layup as the Knicks led 66-50 through two quarters.

However, the Hornets pulled away in the third, and used an 11-0 run to take a one-point lead at 87-86 with 52.1 seconds left.

Obie Taupin’s 3-pointer put the Knicks up by two in the fourth, Josh Hart (nine points) scored four points and Deuce McBride pushed a runner back to eight early in the final period. Consecutive 3-point buckets by Hayward and Oubre made it a one-point game, and Rozier tied it at 100-100 with a jumper with 3:22 left.

Hayward’s three-point play put the Hornets ahead one possession later, and after Randle tied another with a spinning drive, Hayward sank a pull-up jumper and Oubre scored with 58 seconds to play. and sank another 3 for a 108-103 Charlotte lead.

After Randle hit two free throws, Hayward drew an offensive foul to give the Knicks the ball back. But Randle was called for fouling a loose ball on a Quickley miss at the other end, and Rozier made both free throws to build a five-point lead with 29.1 seconds to play.

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