The Knicks jumped out to a huge lead early thanks to a 41-point first quarter and cruised to a 125-81 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Here are a few key takeaways from Saturday’s game…
– After shooting just 5-for-20 against the Mavericks on Friday night, Julius Randle got off to a quick start on Saturday, hitting his first two three-point attempts in the early moments. Reggie Bullock also hit a three, as the Knicks jumped out to an 11-0 run to start the game, prompting the Pistons to call a timeout. Bullock then hit a three on the other side of the timeout to push the New York lead to 14-0.
Randle and Bullock continued to drill three after three, continuing the three-point barrage for the entire quarter. The Knicks scored a season-high 41 points in the first quarter and shot 9-of-16 from beyond the arc. Randle was absolutely on fire, finishing the quarter with 20 points on seven-of-10 shooting, including four threes. New York led 41-15 heading into the second.
– Tom Thibodeau turned to his second unit to start the second quarter, with Taj Gibson giving the Knicks some valuable minutes at center with six points in the quarter’s first six minutes.
The Knicks offense slowed down in the second compared to their dynamic first-quarter, scoring just 19 points, but they still took a 60-41 lead into the break. Randle didn’t score in the second but had 20 in the first half, while Bullock had 14 points in just under 16 minutes.
– To start the second half. the Knicks again didn’t seem to be in sync, but Randle converted on difficult and-one around the halfway point, pushing the Knicks’ lead back up to 22 points. For Randle, the points were his first since the first quarter.
Later in the quarter, Randle drilled his fifth three of the game as the Knicks swung the momentum all the way back to their favor. Bullock then hit his sixth three of the game just before the buzzer, putting the Knicks up 88-61 after three. The Knicks surpassed their 86 points against the Mavericks in just three quarters on Saturday.
-In the fourth, the Knicks were able to keep things on cruise control. As the Knicks pushed their lead back up to 30, the starters were able to end their night early. Randle finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and three assists, while Bullock had his best game of the season with 22 points, including six threes. RJ Barrett (14), Gibson (11), Elfrid Payton (11), and Immanuel Quickley (12) all finished in double digits. Kevin Knox also hit three threes in the fourth to give him a quick nine points.
The Knicks and Nets face off on Monday night in an Atlantic Division battle with tipoff set for 7:00 p.m.
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