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Knicks' RJ Barrett Ruled Out vs. Mavericks With Finger Injury

Erin WalshDecember 28, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 23: RJ Barrett #9 of the New York Knicks dunks the ball against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at Madison Square Garden on December 23, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
Adam Hunger/Getty Images

New York Knicks star RJ Barrett was ruled out of Tuesday's game against the Dallas Mavericks after suffering a right index finger laceration in the first quarter.

Barrett appeared to suffer the injury while driving to the basket before making a pass to Quentin Grimes.

Barrett played just two minutes and missed his lone shot attempt before exiting. It's a tough blow for the Knicks, which are also without Jalen Brunson in Dallas because of a hip injury.

Barrett has been a key cog in Tom Thibodeau's lineup this season, and he hadn't missed a single game entering Tuesday night's contest.

The 22-year-old has been mostly durable through his four-year NBA career, appearing in at least 70 games in each of the past two seasons. He played just 56 games during his 2019-20 rookie season because of an ankle injury.

Barrett, the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, has shown improvement since breaking onto the scene as a rookie, with his best season coming in 2021-22 when he averaged 20.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 70 games while shooting 40.8 percent from the floor and 34.2 percent from deep.

The Duke product is putting up similar numbers this season, entering Tuesday's game averaging 20.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 34 games while shooting 42.7 percent from the floor and 33.2 percent from deep.

If Barrett misses any time moving forward, Cam Reddish and Miles McBride could see more playing time.

After a rough start to the season, the Knicks have shown improvement over the last several weeks, rising to sixth in the Eastern Conference with an 18-16 record. They'll need Barrett healthy to continue contending for a playoff spot.