The Knicks look to bounce back from their first loss in over a week when they visit the Grizzlies and their standout rookie Wednesday night.
New York (4-3) had its three-game winning streak snapped after falling 92-80 at San Antonio on Tuesday. It was the Knicks’ first loss since a 94-86 defeat to Milwaukee on Nov. 2 and dropped them to 1-2 on the road. New York hadn’t won four straight overall since Jan. 8-13, 2006.
Jamal Crawford had 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting, while Zach Randolph added 15 and 13 rebounds, but the Knicks shot 38.0 percent and fell to 0-3 when being held under 100 points. New York is averaging 84.3 points in its three losses compared to 110.5 in its four victories.
“We didn’t play well,” first-year New York coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We need to shoot the ball better, move the ball a little better.”
New York looks to rebound by trying to avoid a third straight loss to Memphis (3-5), which swept the season series from the Knicks for second time ever in 2007-08. Though Crawford averaged 23.0 points over both contests, the Grizzlies shot 56.0 percent and averaged 125.0 points in their two wins.
Randolph has averaged 20.0 points in 20 games versus the Grizzlies.
Now 2-0 at home with Mayo enjoying a successful start to his NBA career, Memphis could have even more confidence facing the Knicks.
Mayo had 19 of his season-high 33 points in the final period, but the Grizzlies lost 107-102 at Phoenix on Monday. The loss capped a 1-3 Western road trip for Memphis, which allowed over 100 points in each contest after yielding more than 90 once in its first four games.
Despite the loss, Mayo, the third overall pick behind Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley in this summer’s draft, posted his second straight 30-point effort by shooting 12-for-23 from the field. He had 31 on 11-of-21 shooting in a loss at Denver on Sunday.
“O.J. is a phenomenal player and he kept us in the game for a long stretch of time,” said teammate Rudy Gay, who had 20 points against the Suns to match his season average. “He made the right decisions. When he should have passed he passed and when it was time to make the basket he made it.”
Mayo, the 6-foot-5 guard from Southern California, is averaging 21.0 points and 5.0 rebounds on the season, while shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 43.9 (18-for-41) from 3-point range. He’s averaging 28.0 points on 50.0 percent (41-for-82) shooting in his last four contests.
“He just has great poise, just great poise,” Suns coach Terry Porter said. “He’s obviously made some big plays for them.”
So has Gay, especially in four career games versus New York, where he’s averaged 18.8 points on 48.2 percent shooting.