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RJ Barrett adds signature moment in magic Knicks comeback

RJ Barrett Knicks
Jan 6, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) makes a game-winning three point basket during the fourth quarter as Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) defends at Madison Square Garden.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

This might not be as magical a season as last when the New York Knicks surprised a majority of the basketball world to nab the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, but there still are some remarkable moments stuck in the nooks and crannies of the wizard’s hat. 

One of them just so happened to shake loose on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden when the Knicks overturned a 25-point, 57-32 deficit in the second quarter to shock the Boston Celtics — which was made even more memorable when RJ Barrett banked home a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to send the world’s most famous arena into bedlam. 

It was the largest comeback win for the Knicks since overturning a 26-point deficit against the Milwaukee Bucks back in March of 2004.

If you look closely, you could see some more of the dust that was two decades of frustration shake loose from the rafters. 

“Man, that was crazy,” Barrett admitted after the game. “I honestly didn’t even really see it go in because I fell, but just
from everyone else’s reaction I could tell, so that was cool.”

Not a bad rebuttal for a 32-point performance that came on Tuesday against the Indiana Pacers — even if he was limited to just 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting. 

“It was like a playoff game, it was crazy,” he continued. “It was like the first game of the season, too. Whenever we play [Boston] it’s a battle, so it has been a lot of fun.”

ALSO READ: ‘Aggressive’ Julius Randle, RJ Barrett hold the key to Knicks success

Evan Fournier picked up the slack with a career-high 41 points in the win — a much-needed big night after he was held without a point in 22 minutes of action on Tuesday.

He might have been the last person that saw it coming, too.

“No, [that was not expected] at all, especially after the last game,” Fournier admitted. “When you go through a season where there is a lot of inconsistency and you are trying to find a rhythm, you always start the day with a fresh attitude and try to attack the day with positivity and just look forward to any challenges.

“That is what I try to do, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. That was my attitude going into shootaround and just trying to get ready, it obviously was a big game, we were playing the Celtics, it was on national TV, so I just tried to get going.”

After a dreadful 9-17 stretch following a 5-1 start, the Knicks are stabilizing. They’ve won five of their last seven and will look to keep the momentum going on Saturday night in Boston for a rematch against the Celtics. 

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