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RJ Barrett hit a tough shot to force overtime for the New York Knicks.
Not only were there a pair of 50-point games in the NBA on Friday night, but there were also a pair of overtime games to enjoy. While Jayson Tatum’s career-high 53 points led the Boston Celtics past the Minnesota Timberwolves in OT, the league’s other overtime affair featured the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies.
With the Grizz in town at Madison Square Garden, the home team found itself down by 2 points with 15.5 seconds and one free throw remaining for Jonas Valanciunas. A make would’ve forced the Knicks to take a 3-pointer to tie things up, but fortunately for them, Valaciunas missed the second free throw.
RJ Barrett snagged the rebound, snaked his way to the basket and rose up after making contact with Ja Morant. Barrett was able to bank the shot in, tying the game at 114 and ultimately forcing overtime.
RJ Barrett came up big for the Knicks with the game on the line
After Morant missed a floater at the buzzer, the game went to overtime. In the extra period, the Knicks ultimately outlasted the visitors from the free-throw line, winning the final five minutes by a 19-15 margin for the 133-129 victory.
Barrett finished his night with 20 points and 5 rebounds, shooting 7-for-13 from the field, 2-for-4 from long range and 4-for-5 from the foul line. He was terrific in the final six minutes of regulation, helping erase a 13-point deficit with 10 of his team’s final 21 points in that span. In OT, he added another 5 points, which means 15 of his 20 points game in the final 11 minutes of game time.
On the season, the 20-year-old Knicks star came into the night averaging 17.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range. If he can continue to build on these kinds of late-game performances, it won’t be long before the Big Apple has a new basketball star to adore.