New York Knicks: Suns look like All-Stars in hopeless loss

NY Knicks, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NY Knicks, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks took a difficult loss to the Phoenix Suns, who entered the night with the NBA’s worst record.

Monday’s game between the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns featured two teams with no hope of the playoffs. Both sat in the NBA’s bottom five, with the Suns owning the worst record at 6-24. Basically, it was a game to unintentionally jockey for position in the 2019 draft.

Well, the Suns certainly did not play like the league’s No. 30 team.

This game was only a seven-point differential at halftime, with the Suns ahead. Defense was inconsistent on both sides, so it seemed to create a shootout for the second half. Not quite.

Phoenix became unstoppable at both ends of the court, including limiting the Knicks to just 17 third-quarter points — 10 points lower than any other quarter that game. Devin Booker and TJ Warren, on the other hand, carried their group to 41 points to overtake the night.

This deficit was impossible for the Knicks to overcome, especially while shooting just 40.4 percent and 25.7 percent on three-pointers. It was the Emmanuel Mudiay Show, and that’s about it, with his 32 points on 12-for-21 shooting.

Meanwhile, Booker and Warren combined for 64 points. Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, added 21 points and 13 rebounds, as the Suns won, 128-110.

Nothing went properly in the final 24 minutes, and the Knicks faced rare jeers from the home crowd at Madison Square Garden. It was an embarrassing night, even with just nine wins in 32 games, and it may have cemented this group, despite their upside, as a bottom-tier team.

The Knicks have a day off to regroup, after back-to-back games, which may have impacted Monday’s result. A matchup will follow against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 7:00 p.m. ET.

  • New York still reached 100 points without Tim Hardaway Jr., who missed this game with a sore heel. However, they missed him when Phoenix went off in the third quarter.
  • Kevin Knox did not have his most efficient game, but, once again, he compiled double-digit points. Slow and steady progress for the rookie from Kentucky.
  • Lance Thomas returned after 20 games, due to November knee surgery. His defensive acumen was on display, but he went scoreless in 19 minutes. When the Knicks get healthy, he’s a candidate to move to the end of the bench.
  • Luke Kornet‘s impressive performance of two games ago may have been an anomaly. Including this loss, he has just 11 points on 3-for-9 shooting since the 13-point outing against the Hornets.

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The New York Knicks dropped to 9-23. There’s work to be done before Wednesday’s game, so let’s see how they react to back-to-back losses on consecutive nights.