LOS ANGELES – So for something different.
An ESPN audience and a crowd of 17,422 saw the NBA’s hottest team lose and the league’s coldest team win Sunday night at the Crytpo.com Arena, where the New York Knicks led 116-93 against the confused Clippers .
Tyronn Lue’s team, now 34-32, had won a straight five, the NBA’s highest, with Thursday’s 132-111 loss to the Lakers on Thursday.
New York arrived in the middle of its worst stretch of the season, after losing the seven worst games in a row in the NBA and 14 of its last 16.
But even though the Knicks are only 26-38 this season, they have had the Clippers number. In two games against New York, LA never led, including the Knicks’ 110-102 victory on January 23.
RJ Barrett, who has averaged 30 points per game in his four outings since returning from an ankle injury that kept him out of four games, had 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists … in the first half. The new Knicks star finished 24th, leading six double-digit New Yorkers.
The Clippers scored five players in two figures, but none of them scored more than Amir Coffey, who had 16 points. Isaiah Hartenstein (14), Terance Mann (11), Luke Kennard (11) and Reggie Jackson (11) were the others, as the Clippers shot just 33 for 88 (37.5%) from the floor.
A game after recording a plus-44 in the win over the Lakers last week, the Clippers were outscored by 33 points in the 27 minutes Jackson played Sunday.
And the Knicks were competent enough: they threw 42 of 88 (47.7%) from the field and 13 of 29 (44.8%) of 3 to capitalize.
The Clippers were pushed into the first half, when the Knicks went to the free-kick line 21 times, though fortunately for the Clippers they made just 12 of those free throws.
The Clippers, meanwhile, were just 2 out of 5 from the streak in the first half, struggling from the start to find the pace. They shot 16 of 50 in the first half (including only 7 of 28 in the second quarter, when they missed their first 13 shots).
Luckily for them, New York pulled just 20-49 (40.8%), but still led 59-40 in the middle.
That Clippers deficit grew to 26 points when Mitchell Robinson’s throw made it 74-48 with 7:47 left for the third quarter.
But when Robert Covington hit a triple, which turned into a four-point game after Kennard’s free-kick (possible by Barrett), the difference at 4:20 was, well, only 20 – 78-58.
These Clippers, let’s remember, are the only team in the last 25 seasons that has surpassed deficits of 24 points or more three times in a season.
As much as the Clippers may be able to bounce back, they are also often harassed by offensive calms like the ones that occur in both the second and fourth quarters on Sunday.
The Clippers lost just 80-68, but then started the cold fourth quarter with seven consecutive fouls, and when Brandon Boston Jr. came in to score his first cube with 7:10 to play, the Clippers losing 95-73.
The Clippers will try again when they play Golden State on Tuesday in a TNT game.
More to come in this story.
RJ Barrett, Knicks rout Clippers – Press Telegram Source link RJ Barrett, Knicks rout Clippers – Press Telegram