The Knicks knocked off the Orlando Magic 105-103 on Thursday night, and the win was impressive for a number of reasons.
The team erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, winning their third straight game as a result. But it was also the first game since Marcus Morris, the team's leading scorer, was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers at the trade deadline.
After the trade became official, interim head coach Mike Miller and some of the players in the locker room addressed what Morris meant to this Knicks group.
"As you guys know, I've been singing his praises all along, from the very beginning," Miller said to reporters. "He helped us in such ways, not only the shot-making and the things he did on the floor, but what he did in the locker room and what he did on the practice court. He made an impact on our team, so now we can build off of that and continue to grow.
"I think the world of him and hope he's in a position to have a chance to win a championship."
With Morris now in LA, Julius Randle takes over as the team's leading scorer, and while he knows the NBA is a business, he was sorry to see his teammate traded.
"I'm not surprised or shocked by anything now. Obviously, personally, it hurts," said Randle. "You don't want that to happen, and he meant a lot to our team, but like I've said, we've just got to keep moving forward."
For a rookie like RJ Barrett, Morris being traded was an early look at how the NBA can operate.
"It's tough, especially to lose him. He was really great for us throughout the season," said Barrett. "He won the last two games for us at the end. It was tough to see him go. I texted him and told him I appreciated him, but like I said, it's a business and we've got to keep moving forward."
The Knicks have dealt with more than their fair share of obstacles this season, from David Fizdale and Steve Mills' firings, to Thursday's trade of their locker room leader.
But through it all, they've stuck together, and they plan on keeping things that way moving forward.
"They have been such a good group," said Miller. "They really have, in terms of the things that they've gone through as a team or things that we've had individually, with how they've been there for each other and how they've stuck together."
Added Randle: "We needed that as a team. I think the fanbase needed it. There's been a lot that's been going on this year, and through it all we stay together. … We needed it."