After months of inconsistency and just some downright bad basketball, it looked like the Knicks were starting to figure it out.
The Knicks attended Monday’s Martin Luther King Day matinee at Garden after winning three in a row and five of their last six. RJ Barrett was developing into a big player, and the starting unit seemed to reach a level of comfort with each other.
However, this team was not the one that showed up for the match against the Charlotte Hornets.
The Knicks’ defense could do nothing to stop a red-hot Miles Bridges, who scored a career-high 38 points to lead the Hornets to a 97-87 victory.
The end result did not represent the magnitude of the loss. The Knicks were trailing by at least 20 points for most of the second half and fought offensively throughout the game against a Charlotte team ranked 29th in the league in defense.
Julius Randle and Barrett each scored 18 points for the Knicks, which fell to 22-22.
Bridges put it to the Knicks early and scored 22 of his points in the first quarter as the Hornets led 34-23. In addition to finishing with a career high for points, he also had 12 rebounds and five assists.
The Hornets (24-20) played without point guard LaMelo Ball, their second leading scorer (19.4 points per game), but you would not have known it the way they took command of the game. The victory was their fifth in the last six matches.
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