MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Julius Randle scored 28 points, Derrick Rose added 25, converting 11 of 15 shots and the New York Knicks held off the Memphis Grizzlies 118-104 on Monday night for their 12th win in 13 games.
“I like the toughness of the team,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “They persevered and just found away.”
With the win, the Knicks are assured of their first winning record in a season since going 54-28 in 2012-13.
“It’s really good,” Randle said of the team’s recent play, adding that the Knicks “need to keep doing it to get better.”
While the Knicks continued their successful run – winning their 12th in the last 13 – one of the prime spots of the four play-in teams in the West is becoming more elusive for Memphis. The loss was the Grizzlies fourth in the last five. Coupled with Golden State’s win over New Orleans earlier Monday night, the Warriors moved into eighth place, a half-game ahead of Memphis, now in ninth..
“All these games are big,” said Dillon Brooks, who had 25 points for Memphis. “We’ve got to realize that. Our attention to detail, our intensity, our attention to everything has got to be heightened. We’ve just got to be ready every single game.”
Rookie Desmond Bane added 22 points while Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 15 points for the Grizzlies.
Memphis, which trailed by as many as 17 in the second half, tried to rally in the fourth quarter and cut the New York advantage to 101-96 with 5:28 left. Randle answered with a 3-pointer with 3:57 remaining.