The Knicks led at the half, but things fell apart in the second half and the Celtics came away with a 118-95 win. >> Box Score
Five things to know from Saturday's game...
1) RJ Barrett's Madison Square Garden debut got off to a strong start. In the first half, the third overall pick led all players in scoring with 15 points, including 2-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc. Barrett finished his night with 26 points, seven assists, and three rebounds.
2) The Knicks had a poor defensive showing against the Nets on Friday, but they showed signs of improvement against the Celtics. In the first half, the Knicks limited Boston to just 16-of-49 shooting, including just 6-of-25 from three-point range. The Knicks took a five-point lead into the half, but the Celtics answered with a strong third quarter, outscoring New York 36-25. In the fourth quarter, the Celtics pushed their lead up to 14, Bronx-native Kemba Walker leading the attack. Walker finished the night with a game-high 32 points, and was 7-of-12 from three-point range.
3) Mitchell Robinson was inactive for the season opener against the Spurs due to an ankle injury, and he showed some signs of rust in his first game back against Brooklyn. But on Saturday, the Knicks center looked more comfortable, adding nine first-half points to help the Knicks get out to a five-point lead at the break. He ended up scoring 17 points with six rebounds and three blocks, but he walked off the court gingerly in the fourth quarter after appearing to injure his ankle.
4) David Fizdale said before the game that the point guard rotation behind Elfrid Payton was still a 'fluid' situation, but it was once again Dennis Smith Jr. who got virtually all of the playing time off the bench at point. Smith, again, failed to inspire any confidence, with zero points, one assist, and two turnovers. Frank Ntilikina, meanwhile, played just 18 seconds in the final moments of the first half.
5) Julius Randle, who Fizdale thought was pressing in Friday's loss, finished with a double-double on Saturday, but it wasn't a very efficient night for the power forward. He scored 10 points and added 10 rebounds, but he also turned the ball over five times, and seemed to struggle with double teams.
Light work for RJ 👌 pic.twitter.com/5VsjIxb5Cg- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) October 27, 2019
Go crazy, rook 👀 pic.twitter.com/vNqxnDvP9Z- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) October 27, 2019
Sheeeeeeeeeesh, Mitch pic.twitter.com/kOvn2GTtqL- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) October 27, 2019
The Knicks are back on their home court on Monday night, as they tip off against the Chicago Bulls at 7 PM at Madison Square Garden.