The « We Want Quickley » ring began late in the first quarter when Sacramento was putting together a rare run.
At 2:44 in the quarter, rookie Immanuel Quickley entered the game and he disappointed the second vertiginous Garden – Meeting of the season not.
When Quickley triggered the Knicks with 18 points in the first half, he led the offensive explosion in a 140-121 triumph over limp Sacramento as the popular rookie point guard from his youngest Quickley finished with 25 points and hit all 12 of his free throws. Together with Julius Randle, Quickley even heard « MVP » shouts on another joyful evening in front of 2,000 fans who seemed to be singing something all evening.
The Knicks’ 140 points were a season high and met the worst defensive team in the NBA. The Knicks were the NBA’s least productive team to come into play offensively.
When Randle heard MVP sing a second game in a row, he put on another Bull-in-a-China-Shop performance 21 points and 14 rebounds together. Alec Burks, who had mostly amassed it in the fourth quarter garbage time, racked up a season high of 24 points.
Derrick Rose made his first season start at Point Guard with Elfrid Payton’s hamstring injury, adding 18 points when the Knicks hit 16 -17 switched to a game under .500. The Kings (12-20) lost their ninth straight.
The Knicks put together 77 points in the first half, shot 65.9 percent and then held off the Kings’ indictment.
The Knicks reached in almost 80 that first half, but a desperate 3-pointer to Reggie Bullock’s buzzer was waved off for stepping on the sidelines. However, the Knicks had a lot – a lead of 77-63.
Rose was added to the grid and started the Spree by tearing into the basket for a left-handed player on the first possession of the game.
Rose started that Playing with a flair, went 5v5 in the first quarter and finished with 13 points in the first half. But the nervous, charged fans with the Kings at the 11-0 run started the Quickley chant.
When he stepped in at the end of the first quarter, the Kentucky rookie got to work and immediately emptied a 3-pointer. He pulled fouls, emptied a floater and scored 18 points in 9:36. He made 4 out of 6 baskets and all eight of his free throws.
Quickley’s 3v22 slump in the last three games has been pushed into the distance. As reported for the first time by The Post, the NBA will not hold the Rising Stars Challenge for top rookies and sophomores, but will announce an honorary team. Quickley almost sealed his place.
Another blow to Austin Rivers put Frank Ntilikina back into rotation with Payton. Ntilikina hadn’t played a game since December 29 due to a sprained knee, COVID-19 logs, and retirement from rotation.
He looked handsome too. He stole a ball from De’Aaron Fox to start a quick break and fed Quickley a 3-pointer. At 8:58 in the first half, he also dropped a 3-pointer.
The stars of the socially distant celebrity series included CC Sabathia and rappers Jadakiss and Action Bronson.
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