The New York Knicks beat the Charlotte Hornets in a tough overtime victory, winning by three points with a final score of 134-131.
Point guard Jalen Brunson had his best performance in a Knicks uniform, being the driving force and leading the team with 27 points and 13 assists on efficient shooting, making 10 out of his attempted 15 field goal attempts.
Another player who shouldn’t go unnoticed in the win against the Hornets is Julius Randle. Though he didn’t have a good shooting performance, only making seven out of his 19 attempted field goals and finishing with 17 points, the power forward did make huge plays during the fourth quarter and overtime.
During the final minute of the fourth quarter, Randle got an offensive rebound off of a Jalen Brunson missed 3-pointer and scored, which gave the team a two-point lead before Dennis Smith Jr. of the Hornets tied the game to force overtime. In overtime, Randle made a contact layup driving to the basket to give the Knicks a three point lead with 19 seconds left remaining in overtime.
RJ Barrett highlighted Randle’s play during postgame comments following the overtime win against the Hornets.
“He’s a beast. He’s been solid for us for years,” Barrett said. “We need him, and we needed that at that moment. Just happy to see him playing well this year.”
In the four games played, Randle is averaging 20.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game while also shooting 47 percent from the field.
Barrett Taking On Defensive Challenge
Barrett is struggling on offense, as he’s only shooting 37 percent from the field and 14 percent from three-point range.
The 22-year-old forward did make two clutch free throws with 3.8 seconds left in overtime to help the Knicks secure a win. Barrett finished with 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
When asked by the media during postgame comments about his offseason work on free throws and hitting a pair to seal the game, Barrett stated that he was confident going to the line.
“Those were big. Just confident, especially in moments like those,” Barrett said. “Missing free throws, they’re free, you know. It’s kind of unacceptable so just trying to continue to work on that every day.”
In the postgame press conference, Barrett also talked about taking on the challenge of guarding the opposing team’s best player. Barrett had possessions where he guarded Gordon Hayward. LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier were out against the Knicks, which saw Hayward as more of a focal point on offense.
“It’s a challenge, but I’m up to it. It’s fun,” Barrett said. “It’s my contribution to the team. I’m going to be doing it every night.”
Hayward finished with 21 points and made eight out of his 18 field goal attempts while also turning the ball over five times.
Going Up Against Milwaukee
The New York Knicks will face the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on October 28.
The Bucks are undefeated, winning all three games they played, and are coming off an impressive win against the Brooklyn Nets. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 43 points in that game and is averaging 36 points, 13 rebounds, and 5.3 assists.
The Bucks will be without All-Star forward Khris Middleton, who is recovering from surgery on a ligament in his left wrist.
In the four games played against each other last season, the Bucks won three games.