By: Marvin Azrak
The 5-1 start had the city buzzing about the new-look Knickerbockers. However, two duds against the Raptors(113-104 in a game they blew a double-digit lead) and in Indiana against the Pacers(98-111 where the NYK never had the lead) shrunk them from atop the Eastern Conference to the dreaded play-in spot of the seventh with the Milwaukee Bucks coming up on Friday night. It sure seemed like the fans’ worst nightmare would come to fruition for even as shorthanded as the reigning champs were without Kyrie Middleton and Brook Lopez, they still led 40-19 in the second quarter.
But that’s when the Knicks remembered their season-long promise to their supporters that they would “Give their best every night”, and went on a 69-43 run to claim an 83-76 lead after three-quarters of play before a 25-15 clip in the fourth cemented a monumental early season 113-98 victory. The second-half rally was led by Derrick Rose who had 23 points off the bench, while RJ Barret poured in 20 for the fifth straight contest, and Julius Randle topped all scorers with 32.
However, with a home tilt against the Cavs sandwiched in between a rematch with the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center “trapped” the Knicks, and ether were victims to career-high performances from Rickey Rubio(37 points), and Evan Mobley(26 points) in a 126-109 loss to the now 7-4 Cleveland Cavaliers. The defeat drops the Knicks to 2-3 at MSG so far this season.
The Blueshirts had a week to forget, flushing a 2-0 lead in Vancouver, which turned into a 3-2 OT loss, and a 4-1 lead in Edmonton, which resulted in a 6-5 OT loss to Conner Mcdavid, Leon Draisaitil, and the Edmonton Oilers. But that was just the tip of the iceberg, for the Flames thrashed Igor Shesterkin and the Rangers to the tune of 6-0 in Western Canada to polish off the two-game sweep, sending NY home to face the 10-0-1 Florida Panthers on Monday in a sour mood.
The Nets are back and so is the “Beard”.
On Wednesday at Barclays Center, Kevin Durant poured in 32 points, dazzling the crowd with 13 of them in a 20-4 third-quarter run that gave the Nets a 16 point advantage over the Hawks. Brooklyn wound up winning the ballgame 117-108 and knocked down 22 from downtown.
On Friday in Motown, KD had 29, James Harden looked like his old self with a triple-double line of 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, and LaMarcus Aldridge contributed with 16 points off the bench as Brooklyn eked out a 96-90 win over the Pistons.
To close out the week, KD and Harden would dominate North of the border as the Nets ran their winning streak up to five games with a 116-103 win over the Raptors. Durant had 31 points, while the beard chipped in with 16 of 28 points coming in the last 12 minutes, including 10 rebounds.
Next game: 11/8 @ Chicago Bulls(6-3)
The Isles swept their trip in Canada, with Brock Nelson scoring four times in a 6-2 win over the Habs, and Ilayu Sororkin backstopping 24 shots in a 2-0 shutout victory over the Winnipeg Jets. But upon their return to the states on Sunday, the Wild stunned New York with a four-goal third on their way to a 5-2 win in Minneapolis. The Islanders have three road games remaining before their home opener in their new arena on November 20th.
Next game: 11/11 @ New Jersey Devils (5-3-2)
Xavier McKinney picked off a Derek Carr pass for one of his two picks in a go-ahead pick-six early in the second half, and the Giants never looked back en route to a 23-16 stunner over the first place 5-3 Las Vegas Raiders at Metlife Stadium. Daniel Jones went 15/20 for 110 yards, a touchdown, and no turnovers in the win, while Devontae Booker(Game ball) rushed for 99 yards on 21 carries in the absence of Saquon Barkley.
Next game: 11/22 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers(6-2)
YU: 2-0(38 game win streak)
Looking to remain perfect in a streak that has spanned three seasons, the Yeshivah University Maccabees throttled their two opponents in Pennsylvania over the weekend to run their winning streak to 38. On Saturday night, Ryan Turrel poured in 32 points in the 90-54 win over Lycoming, before doubling down on Sunday against PSU with a 105-52 drubbing led by 24 out of Turrel, 19 out of Ofer Reek, four threes out of Eitan Halpert, and 11 out of Hotshot star Gabriel Leifer. The streak now ranks second in college basketball, behind the 45-game run of the women’s basketball team at Hope College, a Division III Christian liberal arts school in Holland, Michigan. (Go Flying Dutch!).
NEXT GAME: 11/10 Vs Eastern Connecticut