NBA regular season

Knicks rout Clippers, ruin James Harden’s debut


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Knicks rout Clippers, ruin James Harden’s debut

SPOILER. New York Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson (11) drives the ball towards the basket against Los Angeles Clipper forward Paul George (13) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The New York Knicks hand the Los Angeles Clippers a 111-97 beatdown, spoiling James Harden's first game after forcing another trade from Philadelphia

RJ Barrett, returning from a two-game absence caused by a sore left knee, scored 11 points during a fourth-quarter surge as the host New York Knicks broke open a tie game and cruised to a 111-97 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday (Tuesday, November 7, Manila time).

The Knicks outscored the Clippers 35-21 in the fourth quarter and 69-51 in the second half, spoiling the debut of new Los Angeles acquisition James Harden.

Barrett finished with 26 points while Julius Randle posted a season-high 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who won at home for the first time in three tries this season.

Mitchell Robinson (13 points, 15 rebounds) also had a double-double for New York, while Donte DiVincenzo scored 12 points, including eight in the fourth quarter.

Josh Hart added 10 points and hit the 3-pointer that put the Knicks ahead for good 20 seconds into the fourth.

Kawhi Leonard scored 18 points while Harden finished with 17 points in 31-plus minutes in his first action since the Philadelphia 76ers dealt him to the Clippers on October 31.

Russell Westbrook contributed 17 points while Norman Powell (14 points) and Paul George (10 points) also got into double figures for Los Angeles.

Neither team led by more than four points until Leonard began the third quarter with a dunk to put the Clippers ahead 48-42. The Knicks opened up a pair of four-point leads before Los Angeles went on an 8-1 run to go ahead 76-73.

Immanuel Quickley drained a game-tying 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds left in the third to spark the decisive run by the Knicks, who scored the first seven points of the fourth.

Harden hit three free throws with 10:17 left, but New York answered with the next six points and took a double-digit lead at 89-79 on DiVincenzo’s layup with 9:26 remaining.

After Westbrook hit a layup, DiVincenzo sank a 3-pointer to put the Knicks ahead by double figures for good. New York led by as many as 17 down the stretch. –

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