Knicks News: Crucial Kyle O’Quinn Errors Cost the Home Finale Game


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Sunday night marked the final home game for the New York Knicks. The Madison Square Garden faithfuls were treated to a fan appreciation night, thanking them for sticking with the team for yet another dreadful season.

And with the Toronto Raptors still fighting for the number-one seed in the Eastern Conference, everyone was suited up. Meanwhile, the Knicks continued to play without Kristaps Porzingis, Jose Calderon, and Lance Thomas.

However, New York didn’t seem to miss a beat without all those key contributors early on as the Knicks took an 11 point lead in the opening period. Both Carmelo Anthony and Jerian Grant stepped up and led the way with seven points each.

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DeMar DeRozan though single-handily kept the Raptors in the game, scoring a dozen of his game-high 27 points in the first quarter. DeRozan scored ten straight points to end the period, trimming down the Knicks’ lead down to 25-20 after one quarter of play. Toronto stayed in the game by CONSTANTLY attacking the paint, with 18 of the 20 first quarter points coming from the paint!

The Raptors’ then exploded offensively in the second quarter, converting on 66.7% of their attempts from the field. Toronto outscored the Knicks 34-26 in the second quarter, taking a 54-51 lead into intermission, thanks to a late Kyle Lowry three-pointer. With their hot-shooting, the Raptors connected on four triples in the period.

Lowry continued to light the Knicks up from beyond the arc after halftime, scoring eight of his game-total 15 points in the period. Lowry was a perfect 4-of-4 from downtown through three-quarters of play.  The two-time All-Star point guard finished the game with 15 points and seven assists, including a gorgeous half-court alley-opp pass to DeRozan, resulting in a SICK dunk!

The Knicks got into a funk in the third quarter, and shot a dismal 29.2% from the field – with Anthony the lone player to score more than one field goal in the period. Anthony scored ten of his team-high 21 points in the third quarter.

Things looked dire for New York with Toronto leading by as many as ten points early in the fourth quarter, but the Knicks made a strong rally;  scoring ten straight points to tie the game up at 79 points each.

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The game would seesaw back-and-forth, with both teams exchanging baskets. New York had a good chance to win the game but a couple of crucial Kyle O’Quinn errors cost the Knicks the game. First O’Quinn got a foolish pass picked-off by Lowry, and then he allowed his man to score (what would be the final basket of the game) off an inbound play with .8 seconds remaining on the shot clock. O’Quinn made a poor decision to double-team, allowing Jonas Valanciunas to get right to the rim. Valanciunas finished the game with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Toronto would hit enough of their free-throws, defeating New York 93-89 in their home finale Sunday night. The lone bright spot of the night was that Grant continued to play well, finishing the game with 19 points. Grant continues to show an impressive ability to get to the rim, which is something the team DESPERATELY lacked throughout the season.

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The season finale will be Tuesday night, as the Knicks will take on the Indiana Pacers, and finally put an end to this dreadful season.