Not always comfortable facing opponents with a weaker record than them, the Knicks took the bull by the horns from the start of the meeting. Evan Fournier did not hesitate to stick 16 points in the first quarter, and the Kings pedaled in the semolina despite the instructions and the numerous stoppages of Alvin Gentry.
But with so few talents in his ranks, the technician does with the means at hand, somehow. The Bockers have a rather polished game, with a Julius Randle who turns into an effective passer (4 caviars) and the locals are logically in the lead at the break (54-41).
The Californians’ offense relies on Tyrese Haliburton and… Davion Mitchell, and the defense does not compensate for Sacto’s scoring weakness. The racket is eaten by Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle, who do what they want to Damian Jones and Richaun Holmes, and New York’s march forward continues unhindered. The alternatives on the bench are limited for Alvin Gentry, who shakes his head at the lack of foresight of his players, who don’t seem to show a burst of pride.
Evan Fournier’s tape rolls on, and many fans leave the Garden with long minutes left to play. They have seen enough, and the Bockers win (116-96).
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Evan Fournier does not wait! The native of Charenton made the powder speak without waiting, with a first quarter of fire. 16 points (4/5 to 3-points), 2 assists and a standing Garden to salute the Frenchman’s sublime passage during the first minutes of the match. Even Julius Randle, who does not always look for him in attack, has played a lot for the tricolor.
– The battle for rebounds, strong Knicks advantage. With a Mitchell Robinson in “gobbler” mode and his 13 catches, the Knicks made a huge difference in rebounds, against the Kings who were eaten in this sector (49 rebounds to 34). Richaun Holmes, the best rebounder of his team, was far too alone, and his teammates completely left this task to the former Suns, who did not weigh heavily against the interiors of New York.
– 12. Like the number of consecutive defeats of the Kings on the road. The last victory away from their Golden 1 Center dates back to December 1, on the Clippers’ floor (104-99), so there are exactly two months. With upcoming trips to San Francisco to face the Warriors there and then a return to the East Coast to play against the Nets, Bulls and Wizards, the black series is likely to continue for a while…
✅ Alec Burks. The former Jazz simply plays, and above all, does not let himself go in movements or gestures that he does not master. With an ultra-clean stat sheet (21 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists), Alec Burks was the main element of the Knicks’ offense, and helped put Buddy Hield under cover, who struggled to find the target the whole game. The spark in scoring off the bench, and one of Tom Thibodeau’s essentials who constantly places his trust in him.
✅ Julius Randle. The Madison Square Garden buffalo put himself at the service of his team, and his teammates took full advantage of it (19 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists). Passer in the first period for Evan Fournier and serious in defense, he made a complete performance, and was applauded several times by Tom Thibodeau, unfamiliar with the fact. A good start to the week for the leader of the Big Apple.
⛔ Kemba Walker. A zero point for number 8 of the Knicks. Absolutely not involved in defense, and out of touch in attack, he was transparent on Monday evening in the Mecca of basketball (0 points, 17 minutes of play). This action where he let Tyrese Haliburton slip away without reacting was too much for Tom Thibodeau, who did not put him back on the floor for the rest of the match… A match to forget for the former glory of UConn.
New York (24-27) : still at Madison Square Garden to face the Grizzlies (Wednesday-Thursday night at 1:30 a.m.).
Sacramento (18-34) : return home with a duel against the Nets (night from Wednesday to Thursday at 04:00).