SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)Nearly eight weeks into the season, the New York Knicks finally have back-to-back wins.
They did it after falling behind by 16 points, too, 48 hours after taking Golden State to overtime and winning.
Elfrid Payton had seven of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, Marcus Morris scored off an offensive rebound with 9.1 seconds left and the Knicks rallied to beat the Sacramento Kings 103-101 on Friday night.
”It’s a good feeling,” forward Julius Randle said. ”We just turned up our intensity and our aggressiveness. The bench did a great job coming in and playing well. We just kept fighting, locked into the details, and came out with a win.”
Julius Randle had 24 points and nine rebounds, Mitchell Robinson added 14 points and nine boards, and Damyean Dotson scored 11 points.
The Knicks (6-20) hadn’t won consecutive games since beating Washington and Chicago in April in their 80th and 81st games last season.
This season, victories have been hard enough to come by, let alone stacking them back-to-back.
”We were in positions where we bent a few times but we didn’t break,” New York interim coach Mike Miller said. ”Terrific effort, so many good performances, and showing character to keep coming back when you get down.”
Two nights after beating Golden State 124-122 in overtime to snap a 10-game losing streak, the Knicks fell behind 77-61 in the third quarter.
New York closed within 80-72 entering the fourth then got on roll behind Payton.
Payton made a 4-footer to give the Knicks a 95-93 lead. After Buddy Hield tied it with a long jumper, Payton responded with a 20-foot jumper to put New York ahead for good.
Cory Joseph missed a tying 3-pointer for the Kings, and Morris tipped in a miss by RJ Barrett.
”We started locking into detail and then we started getting some stops,” Payton said. ”We all were out there making plays. Everybody was rolling.”
Hield scored 34 points and had a career-high 11 rebounds for Sacramento. Harrison Barnes had 18 points and Nemanja Bjelica added 12 points and seven assists. The Kings had won their previous three.
”We’ve had some nice emotional wins lately, and in the past that has caused us to have a letdown,” Kings coach Luke Walton said. ”We built up a nice lead and we didn’t maintain it. We fell off. The Knicks imposed their will on us.”
The Kings’ top 3-point threat, Hield made nine of his first 10 shots and had a pair of dunks on offensive rebounds in the first half.
After New York trimmed a 15-point deficit to 52-45, Hield threw a lob pass to Richaun Holmes for a dunk that put Sacramento up by nine at halftime.
Knicks: New York had lost four straight against Sacramento. . The Knicks went on an 11-2 run to close the third quarter. . Dotson made a 3-pointer from 33 feet away with the shot clock running down early in the fourth. . Dennis Smith Jr. (illness) was cleared to play but was held out because of coach’s decision.
Kings: Hield has 10 games this season with five or more 3s.
Knicks reserve Kevin Knox was going for a defensive rebound following a miss by Marvin Bagley in the second quarter when it looked like he dunked the ball back in the basket. Replays appeared to show Knox’s hand on top of the ball before it went in, although Hield was credited with the points.
Knicks: Play at Denver on Sunday. New York has lost 11 consecutive games in the Mile High City, the last win coming in 2006.
Kings: Take a short trip south to play the Warriors at the Chase Center on Sunday. Sacramento hasn’t defeated Golden State since March 16, 2018.
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