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BBNBA: Randle and Knicks Tower Over Rockets’ Small-Ball

(New York Knicks | NBAE)

(New York Knicks | NBAE)

Good morning, folks. The Knicks used size to beat the Rockets small-ball. Who woulda thunk it? Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

Knicks stun small-ball Rockets

A six-game win streak and the NBA’s most lethal form of offense at the moment didn’t appear to scare the 19-42 New York Knicks away from surprising the Houston Rockets for a 125-123 victory.

And how did they do it? Shockingly enough, they used an overwhelming size-advantage. The Knicks dominated Houston on both the battle for the glass (65-34 rebounding advantage for NY) and points in the paint (64-36 advantage for NY). Julius Randle’s power allowed him to feast as he posted 16 points and 16 rebounds for his 27th double-double of the season and the fourth over his last five outings.

”We played to our strengths and advantages, which is obviously the paint,” Randle said after the game. “We know they play small, so we should get a lot of second-chance opportunities on offensive boards if we miss shots.”

The win marked the first time since 2009 that the Knicks were able to take down the Rockets inside Madison Square Garden. And who was coaching the Knicks at the time? Mike D’Antoni, the current coach of the Rockets.

The Knicks poured in 73 first-half points against Houston as James Harden missed his first eight attempts from distance, allowing New York to build a lead early that only continued to mount.

Kevin Knox added six points, one rebound, and one assist on 2-7 shooting in 16 minutes for the Knicks.

Heat blow past NBA-leading Bucks

The game of Monday night featured two of the Eastern Conference’s elite powers, as the Miami Heat upended the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks by a final score of 105-89. The loss marked Milwaukee’s second-worst losing deficit of the season and just its ninth loss of the entire year. 89 points is a new season-low for the Bucks, who recently mustered up just 93 points against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. It felt like a bad loss was inevitable for Milwaukee sooner rather than later; the Heat jumped on that opportunity.

Bam Adebayo posted 14 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks for Miami, who have now won three in a row after losing seven of its previous nine outings.

Miami shot 18-37 from beyond the arc compared to a horrid 7-34 clip for Milwaukee. Eric Bledsoe played one of his worst games of the season, going for seven points, four assists, and four turnovers while shooting 3-5 from the field. Over his last three outings, the former Kentucky guard has only averaged 6.0 points and 3.7 assists while shooting under 40 percent overall.

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro remains out with an ankle injury.

Other notes 

  • Trey Lyles led the BBNBA in scoring and continued his impressive play as of late, adding 20 points and six rebounds while shooting 8-17 from the field and connecting on 4-7 shots from deep for the San Antonio Spurs. Lyles has now dropped 20 points in back-to-back games for the Spurs, just the second time in his five-year career he’s done so. The Spurs ended up falling to the Indiana Pacers, 116-111.

  • Wenyen Gabriel appeared in eight minutes for the Portland Trail Blazers, who were blown out by the Orlando Magic, 130-107, contributing two points and one rebound.

Check out the full stat sheet below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Trey Lyles (SAS)111-116 L vs. IND208-17 (4-7)60121-836
Julius Randle (NYK)125-123 W vs. HOU165-14 (0-1)164013-929
Bam Adebayo (MIA)105-89 W vs. MIL145-16 (0-0)135135+1337
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)89-105 L @ MIA73-5 (0-0)04204+221
Kevin Knox (NYK)125-123 W vs. HOU62-7 (1-2)11011+616
Wenyen Gabriel (POR)130-107 W @ ORL31-1 (1-1)21001-48
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (DAL)107-109 L @ CHI20-010000-85
Willie Cauley-Stein (DAL)107-109 L @ CHIDNP-CD----------------
Keldon Johnson (SAS)111-116 L vs. INDDNP-CD----------------
Tyler Herro (MIA)105-89 W vs. MILDNP-Ankle/Foot----------------
Skal Labissiere (ATL)88-127 L vs. ATLDNP-Knee----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Spurs (Johnson, Lyles) @ Hornets (Monk-suspended, Washington)

7:30 (TNT): Nets @ Celtics (Kanter) 

8:00: Timberwolves (Towns-out, Vanderbilt) @ Pelicans (Miller-out)

8:00: Clippers (Patterson) @ Thunder (Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel)

9:00: Warriors (Mulder) @ Nuggets (Murray)

9:00: Raptors @ Suns (Booker)

10:00 (TNT): 76ers @ Lakers (Davis, Rondo)

10:00: Wizards (Wall-out) @ Kings (F0x)

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA and UK Hoops. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR