Here are some key takeaways…
– The Knicks got off to a great start from beyond the arc on Tuesday night, with Reggie Bullock knocking down an early pair of threes, while Julius Randle, RJ Barrett and Elfrid Payton all knocked down a three of their own in the first four-plus minutes, giving the Knicks an early 17-8 lead.
But the Hornets were just has hot from beyond the arc in the quarter, as PJ Washington came off the bench going 5-of-5 from three-point range. As a team, Charlotte was 8-of-12 from deep, and they took a 33-30 lead into the second.
– The two sides continued trading buckets in the second, with the lead changing hands almost every time down the floor. Immanuel Quickley knocked down a catch-and-shoot three to give New York a 45-42 lead about halfway through the period. The next time down the floor, Quickley hit another three, this time of the step-back variety.
With about three minutes left in the quarter, Randle took a hand to the face from Jalen McDaniels and stayed down on the floor momentarily, forcing the Knicks to call a timeout. Randle would stay in the game, though his left eye clearly seemed to be bothering him.
But Quickley continued to pace the Knicks’ in the quarter, hitting four threes in the quarter and scoring 17 points in the quarter. At the half, the Hornets led 66-60. Charlotte shot an incredible 13-of-19 (68.4 percent) from three-point range in the first half.
– Barrett got in on the three-point fun in the third quarter, knocking down three shots from downtown and hitting a pair of free throws, giving him 11 points to that point in the quarter with 6:22 still on the clock. The Knicks jumped out to a 19-7 run to start the second half, taking a six-point lead midway through the period.
After going just 1-for-8 in the first half, Barrett was on fire in the third, scoring 18 points while hitting four threes. The Knicks led 91-82 after three.
– In the fourth, Derrick Rose and Barrett led the way offensively as the Knicks’ defense dug their claws into the Hornets. After allowing 66 points in the first half, the Knicks held the Hornets to just 31 points in the second half.
The Knicks welcome the Atlanta Hawks to the Garden on Wednesday night, with opening tip set for 8:00 p.m.