Knicks complete 21-point comeback to beat Kings 120-109

The last time the Knicks and Kings met (March 16), New York held Sacramento to just 91 points. That wouldn’t be the case on Thursday night.

Down by as much as 21 points, the Knicks used their tenacious defense to climb back and defeat the Kings, 120-109 at Madison Square Garden.

Here are the takeaways...

- The Kings got out to a blistering start in the first quarter, especially from three-point range. Sacramento shot 67 percent and were 7-of-10 from downtown to help them build a 35-20 lead.

- The second quarter would be a different story as the Knicks rolled off a 16-2 run after trailing by 21 points to get the deficit down to as low as six points thanks to great half-court defense and ball movement on the offensive end. However, the Kings would bounce back to build a double-digit lead again, but Jalen Brunson’s three in the waning seconds put the score at 60-52 at halftime.

- In the third, the Knicks did not quit, they would chip away at the Kings' lead thanks to an increased intensity at the defensive end that led to numerous Sacramento turnovers and fastbreak points. An 8-0 run, punctuated by back-to-back Donte DiVincenzo threes, cut the Kings' lead to six and New York was down by as low as three points but the Kings kept finding answers either with a three of their own or an and-one. DiVincenzo would lead an 11-0 run in the final minute with six points to give the Knicks an 87-84 lead, their first lead since it was 5-4 in the first quarter. De'Aaron Fox, who already made four threes up to this point, put a stop to the run with a three of his own to end the third quarter tied at 87.

- The three-pointers the Kings were making in the first three quarters were not falling in the final frame as the Knicks went on a 13-0 run to take a 10-point lead, their largest of the game. Sacramento would start knocking down shots, but they could not stop New York from scoring.

- Jalen Brunson was masterful again. The All-Star guard had 35 points on 12-20 shooting with 11 assists. Brunson was constantly double-teamed in the second half and he consistently made the right pass to his teammates, who rewarded him with buckets.

- Josh Hart was the biggest contributor, scoring a season-high 31 points on 14-of-19 shooting (all two-pointers) while bringing down nine rebounds and dishing eight assists. Playing with a sprained wrist, Hart made it a point to get down the lane and was often the man pushing the pace after grabbing a rebound.

- Miles McBride had a tough night on the offensive end. He started the game 0-for-7 (0-for-5 from three) before he made his first shot with a couple of minutes left in the first half. He did have a couple of big threes in the third quarter to keep the game close. He finished with 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

McBride had a hard time guarding Fox in this gone, picking up four fouls through three quarters, but settled down a bit. However, he was a bit overmatched.

- Mitchell Robinson, still getting his legs back from his ankle injury, played 15 minutes, scoring two points and coming down with seven rebounds -- five offensive. Isaiah Hartenstein finished with seven points, seven rebounds and nine assists.


What's Next...

The Knicks have a quick turnaround as they travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Friday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.