The younger, athletic, swift Memphis Grizzlies placed on a Garden clinic within the first half Wednesday with level guard Ja Morant as lead firecracker.
The Knicks made it a sport within the second half, however ultimately simply averted a blowout in absorbing a 120-108 defeat to the red-hot Western Conference energy.
Evan Fournier (27 factors, 8 of 12 from 3) and Mitchell Robinson (14 factors, 11 rebounds, eight blocks) have been sensational, however the Knicks didn’t defend or get sufficient clutch play from Julius Randle.
Morant completed with 23 factors and 9 assists. He had loads of assist and the Grizzlies proved to have too many younger weapons to deal with.
The Grizzlies (37-18) are what the Knicks aspire to be. Their 24-28 squad now head onto a murderous five-game western journey that can make or break their disappointing season.
Memphis’ Ziaire Smith, the rookie lottery pick of Stanford, had a career-best night time with 21 factors. Jaren Jackson Jr., whose father works for the Westchester Knicks, appeared terrific in lighting it up from 3, and completed with 24 factors.
Randle didn’t shoot effectively however posted good numbers, practically getting a triple-double with 18 factors, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. But the Knicks wanted the 2020-21 model to beat this Grizzlies juggernaut.
During a timeout halfway via the fourth quarter with the Knicks in vary, Randle acquired concerned within the Memphis huddle jawing with Desmond Bane. A double technical was referred to as.
However, the Grizzlies regained the momentum as Bane drilled a 3-pointer and Morant snaked to the basket for a layup.
The Knicks additionally acquired nothing — actually — from level guard Kemba Walker, scoreless for the second straight sport.
Memphis took a 64-52 lead after a primary half stuffed with highlights. The Grizzlies have been up by as many as 19 factors as Morant poured in 15 factors — none on 3-pointers.
Any Knicks turnover was parlayed right into a highlight-reel Memphis dunk. During a two-minute span, Morant fed rookie Smith for a wild alley-oop slam adopted by Smith lofting a lob for Morant for a fast-break jam.
The Knicks have been no match. Young Memphis ahead Brandon Clarke threw down a vicious slam off a excessive lob and moments later drove in for one other scintillating dunk.