Knicks takeaways from Wednesday’s 108-100 preseason win over Pistons, including Julius Randle’s big third quarter

Julius Randle running up the floor looking toward camera white uniform Pistons visible

The Knicks shook off a slow first half to come back and beat the Detroit Pistons 108-100 on Wednesday night at The Garden.

Here are some key takeaways …

– With Kemba Walker (rest), Nerlens Noel and Mitchell Robinson all sitting out, the Knicks started Derrick Rose, Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, and Taj Gibson.

– It was a balanced attack early for the Knicks, with four of the five starters scoring in the first five and half minutes, led by Gibson’s six points, as New York jumped out to a 14-12 lead. The Knicks offense went cold though, going on a three-minute scoring drought before Alec Burks knocked down a three. Detroit carried a 26-20 lead into the second.

– The Knicks’ second unit started to get into more of a rhythm in the second. After Kevin Knox drilled a three-pointer, he also started a fast break with a quick outlet pass to Burks who threw an alley-oop to Obi Toppin. Knox hit another three later in the quarter as well.

Randle started to get going offensively as well, though he picked up his second offensive foul late in the quarter. Detroit took a four-point lead into the break despite strong first-half performances from Gibson (10 points, seven rebounds), Rose (12 points, two assists), and Randle (eight points, five rebounds, two assists). Overall, though, it wasn’t a very cohesive first half for the Knicks.

– The Pistons extended their lead to seven points with seven minutes left in the third as Saben Lee pushed his point total to 14. Randle, Rose, and Gibson continued to pace the Knicks offensively, as Randle hit a pair of threes late in the quarter to give him 19 points for the game.

Randle would hit his third three and Barrett converted an and-one to put the Knicks up 78-77, their first lead since the first quarter. Randle finished with 16 points in the quarter, and the Knicks took an 82-77 lead into the fourth.

Story continues

– In the fourth, the Pistons cut the Knicks’ lead down to three about halfway through, but a Gibson putback and another Randle three pushed the lead back to eight with under five to go.

The Knicks held on for the win, with Randle leading the way with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. Gibson also had a great night with 21 points and nine rebounds. Barrett struggled with his shot but still finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.


What’s next

The Knicks have one preseason game remaining, as they’ll take on the Washington Wizards on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

After that, they get the regular season tipped off next Wednesday when they host the Boston Celtics at the Garden at 7:30 p.m.


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