RJ Barrett, Knicks Hold Off Warriors to End 10-Game Losing Skid

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2019

New York Knicks' Elfrid Payton, right, drives the ball against Golden State Warriors' Ky Bowman (12) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

There's nothing like a matchup with the new-look Golden State Warriors to grab an elusive win.

The New York Knicks defeated Golden State 124-122 in overtime in Wednesday's showdown at Chase Center. The Knicks are still an abysmal 5-20 on the season, but they at least snapped a 10-game losing streak after Marcus Morris Sr., RJ Barrett and Julius Randle led the way against the Warriors.

D'Angelo Russell forced overtime with a dramatic three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation, but the visitors controlled the extra period.

Golden State is now 5-21 in an injury-plagued campaign that stands in stark contrast to recent history.


Marcus Morris Sr.: Good at shooting threes. https://t.co/zPcktRV7Oq


Notable Player Stats

  • NYK F Marcus Morris Sr.: 36 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals
  • NYK F RJ Barrett: 22 points, 10 rebounds and three assists
  • NYK F Julius Randle: 24 points, 13 rebounds and five assists
  • GSW G D'Angelo Russell: 32 points, six assists, three rebounds and two steals
  • GSW F Draymond Green: 14 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds and four steals


RJ Barrett's Bounce-Back Effort More Important Than Outcome

This is a lost season for the Knicks, but Barrett and Mitchell Robinson are at least potential building blocks who can help in the future.

New York selected Barrett with the No. 3 overall pick out of Duke, but he has not looked like a top-five selection of late. In his previous four games, he scored two points against the Milwaukee Bucks, nine points against the Denver Nuggets, 12 points against the Indiana Pacers and five points against the Portland Trail Blazers.

To make matters worse, he shot a combined 9-of-39 (23.1 percent) from the field in those games.


Knox with the swat, RJ with the flush. YOU LOVE TO SEE IT 💥 https://t.co/DuO4HUGExe


How to run the pick and roll: an RJ and Mitch special https://t.co/bawZflPBah

Building Barrett's long-term confidence is more important than wins and losses for the Knicks at this point, and Wednesday's showing was a confidence builder. While Morris was the focal point of the offense, Barrett took advantage of the attention he attracted with multiple threes and drives to the basket.

He also battled down low for rebounds on the defensive side and looked like someone the Knicks can build around as they work toward a more successful future.

The ability to bounce back from poor stretches is key for even the best NBA players, and Barrett's performance suggests he will be able to do just that for New York.


Warriors' Forgettable Season Continues to Go Downhill

If anyone has earned a season off from the grind of playoff contention, it is Golden State.

The roster no longer has Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Iguodala or Shaun Livingston on it, and Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are sidelined with injury. While Draymond Green and Russell both played Wednesday, they have each missed time with health concerns as well.

Still, it's hard to justify falling behind by 22 points in the first half to the Knicks.

Connor Letourneau @Con_Chron

HALFTIME: Warriors trail the Knicks, 68-50. A blowout loss at home to the league's worst team would be a new nadir for Golden State, which is struggling mightily on both sides of the ball right now.

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

The Knicks, who have lost 10 in a row, fired their coach and are on the second night of a back-to-back out West, are blasting the Warriors by 18 at half. Probably a night GSW brass doesn't mind the local/national TV ratings dip.

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

The 4-20 Knicks have 30 paint points in only 17 minutes. They're pounding the healthier than you probably realize Warriors by 14 in Chase Center right now.

New York entered play dead last in the league in offensive rating but found consistent openings against a Warriors defense that is No. 25, per NBA.com. It was a matchup of two of the worst units in the league, but Golden State never found a way to stop Morris until it was too late.

Russell did what he could during a comeback effort in the fourth quarter, tying the game in the waning minutes with a three-pointer and a layup on back-to-back possessions before he forced overtime with a cold-blooded triple right before the buzzer.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

D-LO SENDS IT TO OT https://t.co/vU6xOe1mCg

However, the Warriors couldn't come through with a key stop in the extra period and still lost despite Russell's individual heroics.

It was more of the same for a team that is closer to the No. 1 overall draft pick than a return to the playoffs.


What's Next?

Both teams are on the road Friday. The Knicks face the Sacramento Kings, while the Warriors play the Utah Jazz.