NBA: Immanuel Quickley’s career night lifts Knicks past Rockets

Immanuel Quickley Knicks NBA

Immanuel Quickley #5 of the New York Knicks is congratulated by teammates Isaiah Hartenstein #55 and RJ Barrett #9 as Quickley is taken out of the game in the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden on March 27, 2023 in New York City. The New York Knicks defeated the Houston Rockets 137-115. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

Immanuel Quickley scored a career-high 40 points and the New York Knicks snapped a three-game losing skid with a 137-115 victory over the visiting Houston Rockets on Monday.

Quickley finished 14 of 18 and drilled five 3-pointers to lead the Knicks (43-33). He joined Julius Randle, RJ Barrett and Jalen Brunson in recording 40-point games for the Knicks this season.

Randle added 26 points while Barrett scored 19 to co-author the runaway win over Houston (18-58), which fell to 0-4 on his current five-game road trip. Brunson (hand) was unavailable.

Behind Quickley’s game-high nine assists, the Knicks finished with a season-high 35 helpers while shooting 58.1 percent.

Kevin Porter Jr. led Houston with 26 points while Jalen Green added 19 points and Kenyon Martin Jr. 18. Rookie Jabari Smith Jr. had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds plus six assists.

Quickley and Randle scored 11 points in the Knicks’ 13-6 run to open the third quarter, a run that allowed the Knicks to push to a 79-67 lead. Quickley did not relent, scoring at will and in a timely fashion whenever the Rockets appeared poised to make a rally. He paired 15 points with five assists in the third, and when Randle beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer, the Knicks led 102-90.

When the Knicks opened the final period with a 10-0 burst, the rout was fully underway.

The Rockets were in the fight early, shooting 60 percent in the opening quarter to keep pace. There were 12 lead changes and four ties in the first, and while Martin led Houston with 11 points in the frame, Randle (15 points) and Quickley (13) combined for 28.

The Knicks appeared to seize control when they grabbed their first double-digit lead at 49-39 on a Josh Hart layup following a Houston turnover less than five minutes into the second quarter. Yet, despite the Rockets going nearly five minutes without a field goal, the Knicks failed to pull away. And when Green buried a 19-foot, step-back baseline jumper, Houston drew even at 49-49 with 5:12 remaining in the first half.

Quickley ended the Rockets’ 10-0 spurt with a 3-pointer before adding a steal and transition layup and a jumper with 12.6 seconds remaining in the second that provided the Knicks a 66-61 halftime lead. Barrett scored 12 points in the period to round out the Knicks’ scoring, with Quickley and Randle combining for 39 points prior to the intermission.


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