Texas Toasted: New York Knicks Drop 5th in a Row With RJ Barrett, Jalen Brunson Out vs. San Antonio Spurs
With the euphoria of an eight-game winning streak about a week away, attending New York Knicks basketball has become a painful experience, literally and figuratively.
With RJ Barrett (finger) and Jalen Brunson (hip) watching Thursday’s visit to San Antonio from the bench, the fact that Julius Randle was able to finish the drive was perhaps the closest New York got to a win. The Knicks’ leading scorer went down with just over five minutes left in the game and writhed in pain as he was examined by the training staff.
Randle hung on to cap a 41-point, 11-rebound night, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Knicks from a 122-115 loss at the AT&T Center. Keldon Johnson led the Spurs with 30 points while Romeo Langford was right behind him with 23 more.
Except for a brief stretch in the middle stages of the first quarter, the Knicks (18-18) pulled away from the wire Thursday night against a Spurs team still trying to fully recover from an 11-game losing streak that ate more. of their November. A 20-6 run for San Antonio (12-23) over the final five minutes of the opening game erased the Knicks’ largest lead of the night at five and set the tone for the rest of the evening.
With Barrett and Brunson out, the Knicks were forced to turn to familiar outsiders: Evan Fournier joined Randle and Immanuel Quickley in double figures with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting in just over 17 minutes of action. his first since November. 13. Miles McBride got his first start of the season and first since Jan. 2 of last season, striking out nine in 31 minutes.
Quickley, meanwhile, posted a career-best 36 points, two nights after he dished out a career-best 17 assists against Dallas. Beyond Randle and Quickley’s combined 26-of-54 shooting from the field, the Knicks struggled against the Spurs’ defense, combining for 12-of-46 (26 percent). Quentin Grimes struggled with a 1-for-10 night after dropping 33 in the loss to the Mavericks.
New York and San Antonio won’t have to wait long to meet again, as the Spurs visit Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
The Knicks’ next chance to end their increasingly terrible streak comes Saturday when they close out the calendar year against the Houston Rockets (7 p.m. ET, MSG).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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