In a game in which the New York Knicks were 2.5-point favorites over the Denver Nuggets, the Knicks never saw a lead in their 113-99 loss at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon.
It didn’t matter that Julius Randle and the majority of the Knicks (11-12) starting lineup scored in double digits because last year’s MVP, Nikola Jokic, notched a 32-point, 11-rebound double-double on 14-19 shooting from the field. And it didn’t help the Knicks’ cause that Zeke Nnaji added 21 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Denver (11-11), without key player Jamal Murray, started off strong and didn’t look back. The Knicks chased all game to tie and gain a semblance of being in the game to no avail.
New York was down just five points after the first quarter, but the Nuggets broke out in the second frame and held an 11-point lead going into the second half.
The Knicks crawled back and cut the lead to six but NBA journeyman Jeff Green and Jokic scored back-to-back layups on consecutive possessions to make it a double-digit game. The layups led to a 23-8 run and 12 points by Jokic to put the Nuggets up 92-71.
In the fourth quarter, Denver took a 30-point lead midway through the fourth.
Overall, the Nuggets shot 53% from the field and 47.6% from three and the Knicks shot just 40.2% from the field and just over 30% from three.
Randle led the way for the Knicks with 24 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, while RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose, and Alec Burks all scored in double figures.
This was the third-straight loss for the Knicks and the eighth loss at Madison Square Garden this season (5-8).
The Knicks look to bounce back on Tuesday against the Spurs (7-13).
(Photo: NBAE via Getty Images)