Knicks vs Clippers: Strong start not enough in a hard-fought loss

After the first quarter, it felt like New York was going to pull off the upset. After all, the Knicks needed a boost after losing three of their last four. Instead, the Knicks vs Clippers matchup ended the way that we thought it would. The Clippers are the more talented team on paper and used that talent to pull away over the next three quarters to win 129-115. 

Main Knicks vs Clippers headlines

The Knicks remain the best defensive team in the NBA; however, it wasn’t enough to slow the Clippers’ offensive unit. The Knicks vs Clippers game plan was to stop Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Instead, Leonard scored 28 points, while George added 17 in what was the Clippers’ highest point total of the season. 

First-quarter lead evaporated

The Knicks led 31-29 after the first quarter after making eight of their first 10 shots but lost their shooting touch after that. The Clippers used a 37-34 second quarter to lead 66-65 at halftime. However, Los Angeles scored the first seven points in the second half and never looked back. Both Leonard and George scored 10 points in the third quarter. 

Three-ball was costly in Knicks vs Clippers

By the end of the game, the Clippers hit 17 three-point shots. The Knicks were allowing 102.7 points per game before this matchup. Five of those three-pointers were hit in the third quarter as Los Angeles led 101-91 going into the fourth quarter. 

A charge led by Immanuel Quickley

Immanuel Quickley had a great performance. Quickly scored eight straight points in the fourth and New York trailed just 105-103. However, the Clippers responded with a 9-0 run to take a 114-103 advantage. Then, an 8-0 the run broke the game open by 15 points.

Knicks vs Clippers game analysis & commentary

In terms of offense, this was one of the better games for New York. Julius Randle led the team with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Quickly added 25 points, while RJ Barrett scored 23. However, the Clippers show 42.6% from the field. 

 A season-high

The 129 points allowed were the most the Knicks had given up this season. Their previous high was 121 against the Indiana Pacers. The Clippers have two superstars in Leonard and George; but the team also gave up 18 points to Reggie Jackson, 15 points to Serge Ibaka, 13 points to Patrick Patterson, and 11 points to Marcus Morris Sr. Six players with double-digit scoring does not normally end well for the opposing team. 

Quickley is on the rise after Knicks vs Clippers

Head coach Tom Thibodeau does not normally play rookies, so the fact that Quickley is playing this much says a lot about his play. Former Chicago Bull Jimmy Butler grew to be an All-Star during his early years with Thibs. Can the Knicks head coach work more magic with this prospect?

Looking ahead

The Knicks are falling through the rankings after losing four of their last five games. The Knicks return to action Monday (today) against the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls are 7-11 on the season after falling to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday on a last-second three-pointer by Damian Lillard.