The Knicks beat the Indiana Pacers 125-104 in their first preseason game, as seven players scored in double-digits.
Here are some key takeaways…
– The Knicks starting five in their first preseason game of the year featured Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, and Taj Gibson.
Walker got things going in his first game wearing a Knicks uniform, assisting on a Barrett three, scoring on a step-back jumper, and then finding Fournier in the corner for three as the Knicks went up 12-6 with 7:18 remaining in the first quarter.
– The Knicks second unit slowly came into the game as Derrick Rose and Alec Burks checked in for Walker and Barrett with 4:42 left in the quarter. Rookie big man Jericho Sims came in and set a solid screen for Rose on a crafty layup.
After a Knicks timeout, Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin entered for the final 2:40 of the first quarter. Quickley missed his first three-point attempt, but Sims got the rebound and found Burks for three. The Knicks closed out the quarter with a 36-26 lead, shooting 53.8 percent from the field ( 14-for-26).
– Toppin started the second quarter with a smooth mid-range jumper, and then threw down an open dunk. After Justin Holiday helped the Pacers cut back into the game, Randle was fouled on a dunk but failed to convert the and-one at the line. Myles Turner and Barrett traded buckets, and then Walker nailed a three to put the Knicks up 61-49 with 2:40 remaining in the half. Randle made a 19-foot leaning shot at the halftime buzzer to give the Knicks a 67-55 lead.
– New York opened the second half with a 15-0 run, going up 82-55 thanks to cohesive play on both ends of the court. Walker sliced through the lane and found Sims underneath for the dunk to go up 84-62. Barrett then made his third three of the night and Rose found Fournier for a dunk, as the Knicks started to put on a show in the Garden and led 101-80 through three quarters.
– Rose made a driving floater, Toppin spun past a defender for a layup, and Quickley made a jumper to put the Knicks up 115-93 in the fourth quarter. Rookie Miles “Deuce” McBride entered for the first time with 5:37 left in the game, and Quentin Grimes checked in soon after.
– The Knicks starting five all scored in double-digits. Randle had 20 points and nine rebounds, Barrett had 17 on 7-for-14 shooting, Gibson scored 14 points in 21 minutes, and Walker and Fournier both had 12 points.
Tom Thibodeau got nine players involved off of the bench, including 10 points from both Quickley and Toppin. Rose, Burks, and Sims all chipped in with eight points. Kevin Knox played three minutes, scoring four points in four minutes.
The Knicks will continue their preseason schedule and travel to Washington, D.C. to face the Wizards on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 7:00 p.m. at Capital One Arena.