NBA: Knicks start fast, cruise past reeling Kings
Evan Fournier scored 16 of his 18 points in the first quarter Monday night for the host New York Knicks, who were never seriously threatened thereafter in a 116-96 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Alec Burks scored a team-high 21 points off the bench for the Knicks, who snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the second time in their last eight games. Fellow reserves Quentin Grimes and Obi Toppin scored 14 points apiece.
RJ Barrett had 11 points while Julius Randle (17 points, nine rebounds) and Mitchell Robinson (nine points, 13 rebounds) each flirted with double-doubles.
Full team effort to pick up the W.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) February 1, 2022
Tyrese Haliburton scored 21 points for the Kings, who went 0-5 on an Eastern Conference road trip and have lost seven straight overall. Davion Mitchell had 18 points while Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield added 11 points each.
Fournier scored the Knicks’ first 10 points, a span in which the Kings took their lone leads at 3-0 and 5-2. Randle gave New York the lead for good at 13-10 by sinking a 3-pointer with 7:22 left. That began a 13-3 run for the hosts, who took a double-digit lead for the first time on Robinson’s layup with 4:08 remaining and led 31-23 after the first.
The Kings got within seven points for the final time with 10:04 left in the half, when Hield drained a 3-pointer to cut the Knicks’ lead to 33-26. Toppin’s layup with 8:43 left extended the lead to 37-27 for New York, which never saw its advantage fall into single digits again and led 54-41 at the half.
An old-fashioned 3-point play by Haliburton cut the Knicks’ lead to 64-54 with 5:37 left in the third. Randle, Barrett and Burks had six points apiece during a quarter-ending 20-12 run for New York, which went ahead by at least 20 points for the first time at 82-61 on Burks’ 3-point play with 1:24 left.
Grimes scored nine points in the fourth quarter, when the Knicks led by as many as 29 before the Kings scored 11 of the final 13 points.