Knicks takeaways from Thursday's 102-91 loss to Pelicans, including no-show nights from Julius Randle, Kemba Walker

·3 min read
Julius Randle trying to back down Pelicans defender black uniform
Julius Randle trying to back down Pelicans defender black uniform

After falling short of a comeback win against the Timberwolves on Tuesday night, the Knicks attempted to overcome a 24-point deficit to the New Orleans Pelicans, but came up short, 102-91.

Here are the takeaways...

- Wearing their all-black uniforms didn't change much for the Knicks offensively as they fell to yet another slow start, as has become the norm for them at Madison Square Garden. Luckily for the Knicks, the Pelicans couldn’t get much going on offense early either.

But after a combined 0-for-7 start from three, shots started to fall for the Pelicans as a 10-0 run gave them a 12-4 lead with just under six minutes to go in the first quarter. With 4:40 left, the Knicks were 0-for-5 from deep and 2-for-10 from the field.

- The offense began to pick it up late in the first as New York pulled it back to 14-10, but some poor defense by the Knicks allowed three uncontested dunks by Jaxson Hayes. Immanuel Quickley’s buzzer-beating basket was waived off at the end of the first quarter and the Pelicans led 27-17 after one.

- After failing to hit a single three-pointer in the first, Quentin Grimes hit the Knicks' first shot from downtown to open up the scoring in the second quarter. But New York’s continued laziness and lack of focus on defense cost them easy buckets on the other end as Brooklyn-native Jose Alvarado scored a career-high eight points in the first half for the Pels.

- A 10-0 Knicks run after a timeout brought them back to 33-30, but neither team could catch fire from three-point range. The Pelicans finished the half going 2-for-13 from deep while the Knicks went a slightly better 3-for-14.

- Noticeably absent from the score sheet for most of the first half was Julius Randle. With less than two minutes remaining in the half, Randle had six assists but only one point. He finished the half with four points and made his first field goal of the night on a tip-in as time expired. Going into halftime, the Knicks were down 46-42.

- After holding the Pelicans to 19 points in the second quarter, the Knicks allowed 35 points in the third. Devonte Graham, who was held scoreless in the first half, came alive in the third, scoring 12 points and lighting it up from downtown.

With 5:43 remaining in the third, boos began to rain down on the Knicks as they were getting outscored 24-11 and New Orleans' lead ballooned to 17 points. That lead grew to 24 as the Knicks were down 81-57 going into the final frame.

- The Knicks did their best to keep things interesting in the fourth as Quickley and Alec Burks hit back-to-back threes with 8:24 remaining to cut the deficit to 17. Then, Grimes and Quickley followed suit with back-to-back threes to cut the deficit to 11 with just over five minutes remaining. Quickley finished with 14 points while Burks and Grimes finished with 13 each.

In the end, New York’s bench got the game to as close as nine points, but it was too little, too late and the Pelicans beat the struggling Knicks, 102-91.


What's next

The Knicks finish up their four-game homestand with a Sunday matinee against the Clippers at 1:00 p.m.