Austin Rivers became the Knicks’ Mariano Rivera – a closer elite.
There is no safe lead against these Knicks. And rivers.
Two days after rising from 15 points to the bottom, the Knicks returned from the 18-point hole to wipe out Jazz, 112-100, with more late magic in the final quarter of Rivers, and their new star was even closer.
Doc Rivers’ son scored 14 straight points over the stretch, which included four consecutive three-pointers and a buoy as the shot clock ended with the Knicks advancing 5-3 after winning the fifth match in six games. It’s their best record after eight matches since the magical 2012-13 season.
Rivers finished with 23 points in 9 out of 14 shootings. Rivers was a staple in the fourth quarters of the last three games after missing all pre-season and first five games of the season with a thigh strain.
Thibaudeau said he watched Rivers grow up as an assistant coach under Doc Rivers while Austin was in high school. So this crazy frenzy doesn’t shock Thibaudo.
“I’ll tell you one thing,” Tibudo said. “It never lacked.” “He did not lack confidence.”
Thibaudeau stated that Rivers was attending the Celtics training – a club with two Hall of Fame buddies.
“He wanted to play with them singles, including Kevin Garnett,” said Teibodo. “Rivers wanted to play (Kevin). Austin really thought he could beat him.”
Julius Randall made a very slow start before leading the charge and scoring another 39 minutes with the Knicks defeating in the lead. Randall scored 30 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists.
The Knicks also had a phenomenal performance from the start of the release of goalkeeper Reggie Bullock, a match time decision with a painful knee injury. Bullock scored 12 points, recording 5 out of 8 shots. Point keeper Elfrid Payton came to the paintwork and added 22 points and six assists.
After 34-19, the Knicks brought back a spin-free third quarter from their slow start as they led 78-75 after three quarters of recovering from an 18-point hole.
To finish the third quarter, the Knicks introduced two defensive games that resulted in transition hoops. Kevin Knox scored a rare block, sending Payton a breakout to give the Knicks his first lead since early in the first quarter.
Then Rivers began his great night. He fired the ball away from Utah’s Joe English, as Barrett fired a breakaway dunk in the final seconds of the quarter to give the Knicks a 78-75 lead after three, capping 8-0.
Payton started the fourth quarter by hollowing out 3 indicators, raising the Knicks by five points and extending the range to 10-0. Dunk Mitchell Robinson put the score at 12-0 and gave the Knicks an 82-75 lead that put Rivers more than protect.
The Knicks slipped 18 points in the second quarter. Randall and RJ Barrett, who are in the first and second places in the league, respectively, looked in minutes, tired of the 3-1 road trip. Utah advanced 56-44 through the intermission and Barrett went 0 out of 6 in the first half.
Everything was forgotten in the end.