RJ Barrett struggles continue as Knicks lose to Hornets

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The wins dried up as surely as the shots stopped falling for the Knicks. Three back-to-back failed defeats quashed any early buzz generated by the three-game winning streak.

RJ Barrett and the Knicks suffered another temperamental night of shooting, while offseason target Gordon Hayward torched them with 28 of his game-high 34 points in the first half of a 109 loss. -88 Monday against the Hornets in Charlotte.

The Knicks (5-6) missed nine of their first 10 field goal attempts and shot just 39.5% from the field overall. That included a 5-for-18 performance – and five consecutive 3-point misses – from Barrett, who finished with 11 points.

The No.3 pick in the 2019 draft shoots just 36.5% for the season and 18.0% from long distance, connecting on nine of the 50 attempts.

“I think that will happen eventually,” Thibodeau said of Barrett before the game. “I think as long as he takes the right ones, it’s a big part of the NBA game, I think, understanding the value of those shots.

“But there are a lot of other things he does well. We want him to play a full game. He can send the ball, he can drive the ball well. And I think over time he’ll shoot the ball better and better from the perimeter.

RJ Barrett dribbles the ball down the field.
AP

Rookie point guard Immanuel Quickley’s recent collapse also continued with a night of 1 for 9 shooting in 28 minutes on the bench; he’s only totaled 10 points on a 2-for-24 shot in his last four games.

Kevin Knox scored 17 of his 19 points, a season-high first period, while Austin Rivers started in place of Reggie Bullock – the first roster change in 11 games under Thibodeau – and finished with 13 Julius Randle (2 for 9) scored 11 points at the low of the season.

Impressive rookie point guard LaMelo Ball scored just eight points on a 3-for-13 shot for Charlotte (6-5), but he also contributed 14 rebounds, seven assists and three steals in the Hornets’ fourth straight win.

The Knicks have shot 39.1% from the floor and 31.3% (6v21) from the 3-point range in their previous two losses after making at least 50% of their attempts in each game of the three-point streak. consecutive wins. .

“I think when you have trouble shooting sometimes it takes away the other aspects of the game,” Thibodeau said. “But we have been a very selfless team. Some nights the ball will come home, others it won’t.

“But we have to do all the other things to put ourselves in a position to win.”

Thibodeau knew ahead that his team needed to rediscover their shooting touch and play a representative defense against the Hornets, who improved with Hayward’s additions, their $ 120 million signing and trade acquisition during the offseason. and Ball, the No. 3 overall pick. in the project.

Thibodeau gushed out of the two opposing players, noting Hayward that the Knicks had “rated him pretty high” among free agent targets during the offseason.

The former Utah and Boston star burned the Knicks for 28 points in the first half on 8 of 12 shots and 10 consecutive successful free throw attempts. The Knicks spotted Charlotte the first 10 points of the game and trailed by a whopping 17 points in the first quarter.

Knox kept the Knicks close by hitting five of his eight long-range attempts, finishing the half with 17, for a 57-50 lead with Charlotte in intermission.

Still, the Knicks committed 10 of their 16 turnovers in the first two quarters, and other than Knox, the rest of the squad were 1-for-13 on a 3-point range. Hayward scored just four points in the third, but the Hornets extended their lead to 82-68 early in the final quarter.

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