Memphis – Knicks has returned to a familiar state — another collapse.
Ja Morant and the up-and-coming Grizzlies rampant in the fourth quarter at the FedExForum on Friday night, recovering from an overall 15-point deficit and scoring Knicks’ three-game winning streak 118-114.
Morant was a thrilling catalyst while scoring 15 out of his 37 points in the final period as Tom Thibodeau’s attack splattered and stalled. Julius Randle scored 36 points for his visitors, but only 6 points in the fourth quarter when Knicks succumbed to Memphis’ 36-18 run and ended the game.
“Honestly, they came out with a fourth particular type of intensity,” RJ Barrett said. “And we couldn’t match it. They were better than us.”
For Knicks (28-39), ending the otherwise encouraging Western Conference swing was a disappointing way. With both Charlotte and Atlanta winning on Friday, New York is currently playing 4½ games from the final play-in spot, playing only 15.
It’s a daunting position where Kevin Durant and Nets are waiting for a Sunday match at Barclays Center.
“Teams with such a high level of talent know how good they are,” Tibodo said of Nets.
Simply put, Knicks seemed ready to be upset in Memphis. They took control in the third quarter and built a 15-point advantage behind Randall’s bullish attack and all-round committed defense. But it quickly disappeared — within about seven minutes of game action – and Morant’s layup provided Memphis with a one-point edge in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Morant, a dark horse MVP candidate, hit 14 out of 33 and added 8 assists.
“Such a man has to try to get him to work,” Tibodo said. “So he took 33 shots, so he’s going to get some.”
Randall was also pleased with his defense against Morant, despite the acquisition in the fourth quarter.
“He shot 33 to 14, which means that if you’re going to give 37 points, you obviously want to do that,” Randall said. “But he was a great player and he played a lot at once.”
Barrett scored 23 points in nine of Knicks’ 25 shots. Knicks has finished his fifth straight-road game against his Western Conference opponents (they were 3-2).
“It’s bittersweet,” Randall said. “It’s like a story of the season. Some games that eventually lost it.”
The Grizzlies (46-22) are the NBA’s most exciting young team and a surprising candidate led by Morant. They are ranked second in the West, giving legitimacy to their violent play and declaration.
In Memphis, it was a short transition from the Grit and Grizzlies defined by slow-paced defensive basketball with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol to the high-flying and high-score versions that occupy today’s FedExForum.
“We received the blessing of everyone before we could move on and take this to the next level,” said Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. “Grit and grind were very special and it was theirs. We can be special because they know we have to have ours.
“We’re all on the same page. Grit-N-Grind never really goes away. It’s like it’s always here, you see it around.” Built Tough “is everywhere. This is a message. “
Still, it was late for more viewers to come to Grizz, especially stations that kept them away from national television. Their game finally began to be featured in February after receiving comments from Morant about contempt.
“There’s a little more talk, but we’re never happy,” said Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane. “They could be talking about us at every ESPN show every morning, and we’re still putting that tip on our shoulders. The Grizzlies are starting to get a little more national recognition. Is good, but we are still definitely hungry. “
CAM avoids surgery
Cam Reddish’s separated shoulders have ended the season, but no surgery is required, according to Tom Thibodeau.
This week’s victory in Sacramento injured redness and caused a severe fall on his right arm before being sent back to New York. The 22-year-old was acquired for the first round pick in January. He is eligible for an extension by next season and will be a restricted free agent if the deal is not closed.
“Of course, I don’t like to see the player injured. I knew it was serious, but I’m happy that he doesn’t have to have surgery,” said Tibodo. “That’s a good sign. It’s an unfortunate part of the game. Focus on rehab now.”
Ja Morant leads comeback, Knicks’ second half collapse records three consecutive wins – Reading Eagle
Source link Ja Morant leads comeback, Knicks’ second half collapse records three consecutive wins – Reading Eagle