new york knicks
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

With six different players scoring in double figures, the New York Knicks ran wild against the Sacramento Kings.

Danny Small

  • New York Knicks 140 (16-17)
  • Sacramento Kings 121 (12-20)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

The New York Knicks are back on track. It just so happens that playing against the porous Sacramento Kings defense was exactly what the Knicks needed to snap out of this offensive lull.

New York trounced Sacramento en route to their highest-scoring output of the season. Six different Knicks—Reggie Bullock, Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Derrick Rose, Alec Burks, and Immanuel Quickley—scored in double figures.

This was an impressive win, albeit against a Kings team that has lost nine in a row. Here are three highlights and three observations from New York’s 140-121 win against Sacramento.

Highlight 1: Immanuel Quickley 4-point Play

Highlight 2: Julius Randle 3

Highlight 3: Alec Burks 4th Quarter

Observation 1: Seamless Start For Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose made his first start with the Knicks this season and he did not disappoint. Rose paced the offense in the first half, scoring 13 points and dishing out five assists.

Rose cooled off as the game went on, but he didn’t need to do much in the second half. With so many different Knicks contributing to the win, Rose didn’t need to do much after his hot start.

Elfrid Payton missed the game with a sore right hamstring and it’s too early to know for sure, but he might have lost his starting spot. We all know Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau trusts Rose and will lean on him.

Observation 2: Positive Frank Ntilikina Minutes

Rose made a seamless transition into the starting lineup, but don’t let that overshadow Frank Ntilikina’s strong entrance into the second unit. In his first action since Dec. 29, Ntilikina delivered, putting up seven points with two assists and three steals.

With Immanuel Quickley and Alec Burks on that second unit, Ntilikina can focus on doing the dirty work. He may not have filled up the box score, but he contributed to the win in a few different ways.

The next question is whether or not Ntilikina will keep his minutes in the rotation going forward. Payton’s status is unknown for this weekend’s games.

Observation 3: Immanuel Quickley Bounce Back

Immanuel Quickley needed this kind of game in a big way. Rookies are always going to go through dry spells, but it’s how they respond that’s important. After three dreadful shooting performances, Quickley lit it up on Thursday.

The rookie scored 25 points in 20 minutes off the bench and he was up to his old tricks again. Quickley went to the line 12 times and converted on all 12 attempts. That’s a rare trait to see in a young player.

The rookie looked comfortable on the court next to Ntilikina and Burks. Quickley is the primary ballhandler with that group, but both Ntilikina and Burks can provide some secondary ballhandling while spacing the floor with their shooting gravity.

And Ntilikina’s defensive intensity helps take some pressure off of Quickley on that end of the court. The second unit was fantastic on Thursday. Whether or not they will have another game together to build on this performance remains to be seen.

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