Turns out, there was just enough time left for an out-of-nowhere comeback.
“We needed it bad,” All-Star Julius Randle said. “This was the way to break out of that, that little slump or whatever you want to call it. This was definitely the game to do it. Guys stepped up.”
RJ Barrett scored 20 points, making a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:15 left in overtime, and New York used a late rally to stun the Memphis Grizzlies 133-129 on Friday night.
Alec Burks had nine of his 19 in overtime and Randle recovered from a scoreless first half to finish with 15 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in his fifth triple-double of the season. New York snapped the Grizzlies’ four-game winning streak.
The Knicks had a 3-1 lead, then never led again in regulation. They were down double digits for much of the night and still trailed by 13 points midway through the fourth quarter.
But they put it together just in time to avoid a third straight loss and win for just the second time in seven games.
“Today we were able to get this one. So just feels good to know that we’re doing the right things,” Barrett said. “Keep working hard, keep working together and it’ll pay off.”
Immanuel Quickley scored 20 points, and Derrick Rose had 19 for the Knicks.
Ja Morant scored 26 points, and Dillon Brooks had 23 for the Grizzlies, who were trying to complete a perfect four-game trip through the Eastern Conference and appeared for about 45 minutes they would.
“Still got to finish the game, which we did well in the first three road games. Simple as that,” Morant said. “We’ve just got to take Griz basketball for 48 minutes onto each game for the rest of the season.”
The Grizzlies led 106-93 midway through the fourth quarter and were still ahead by eight with under 2 1/2 minutes to play. But a three-point play by Randle with 1:01 left and three free throws by Barrett tied it at 112 with 37 seconds remaining.
Morant and Jonas Valanciunas each could only make one free throw, allowing Barrett to tie it again at 114 on a drive with 8.8 seconds left. Morant missed on a drive into the lane and the game went to the extra period.
“The fight was terrific, the perseverance and in the end we made things go our way,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Memphis had a 10-0 run minutes into the game and controlled the first half from there. The Grizzlies open a 15-point lead in the final minute of the quarter and took a 35-23 lead to the second. Memphis led 60-51 at halftime.
The Knicks got within four points in the third quarter, but the Grizzlies pushed it back to 14 later in the period.
Grizzlies: Valanciunas finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds. … Brandon Clarke returned after missing the last two games with left calf soreness. He had five points.
Knicks: Elfrid Payton scored 12 points. … The Knicks were 29 of 33 (88%) on free throws.
10s AND 20s
Valanciunas had his 20th straight game with 10 or more rebounds, the longest streak in the NBA this season. He had already broken the Grizzlies’ franchise record of 18 in a row held by Zach Randolph, then better Atlanta’s Clint Capela’s run of 19 consecutive that was the longest in the league in 2020-21.
TURNING THE THIRD
The Grizzlies had outscored Philadelphia, Miami and Atlanta by an average of 12.3 points in the third quarter during their trip, with 45 points against the 76ers and 43 against the Hawks. But the Knicks edged them 32-30 in the period.
Grizzlies: Host Indiana on Sunday.
Knicks: Host Toronto on Sunday.