NBA: RJ Barrett pours in 31 as Knicks stuff Spurs

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 11 2022 11:20 AM

New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) shoots the ball against San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) and guard Joshua Primo (11) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Vincent Carchietta, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) shoots the ball against San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) and guard Joshua Primo (11) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Vincent Carchietta, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.


RJ Barrett scored 25 of his 31 points in the final 26-plus minutes Monday night as the host New York Knicks pulled away from the San Antonio Spurs in a 111-96 win.

The win was the third in fourth games for the Knicks. The Spurs concluded a 1-6 road trip with their third consecutive defeat.

Barrett, who scored the Knicks' final eight points of the first half, produced his fourth 30-point game of the season. Mitchell Robinson (13 points, 11 rebounds) posted a double-double while fellow starters Evan Fournier (18 points) and Alec Burks (16 points) also scored in double figures for New York. Immanuel Quickley added 12 points off the bench.

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Dejounte Murray scored 24 points for the Spurs, who received a double-double from Jakob Poeltl (12 points, 10 rebounds). Lonnie Walker IV had 15 points while Joshua Primo finished with 11 points.

Poeltl scored six points as the Spurs went on a 17-6 run spanning the first and second quarters to take their biggest lead at 37-29 with 7:30 left in the half. 

The Knicks responded with a 16-6 run and took the lead at 45-43 on Barrett's dunk with 2:27 left. That hoop started his eight-point surge, helping New York take a 51-49 lead into intermission.

The game was tied three times in the third quarter before Burks drained a pair of free throws to put the Knicks ahead for good at 57-55. Barrett scored five points in a 7-0 run that gave New York a double-digit advantage (78-67) for the first time. 

Walker scored five straight points for the Spurs, who trailed 82-75 at the end of the third.

Barrett opened the fourth quarter with five straight points. Poeltl hit a 10-footer to pull the Spurs within 87-77, but the Knicks put the game away by scoring the next 13 points, a span in which five players scored while San Antonio went 0-for-8 from the field. 

Quickley's jumper gave New York its largest lead at 107-83 before the visitors finished on a 13-4 run.