Burks, Fournier lead Knicks to 116-96 win over Kings
NEW YORK (AP) — Alec Burks had 21 points off the bench, Evan Fournier also scored 21 and the New York Knicks routed the skidding Sacramento Kings 116-96 on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
Julius Randle added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who won for the second time in eight games.
New York’s last three losses came on the road against Cleveland, Miami and defending NBA champion Milwaukee.
“Obviously, we’ve been in a slump the past three games. Tough road trip,” Randle said. “It was good for us to get home and get off to a good start.”
Tyrese Haliburton had 21 points and eight assists for the Kings, who have lost seven straight overall and 12 in a row on the road. Davion Mitchell added 18 points.
Sacramento’s last road victory was Dec. 1 at the Los Angeles Clippers.
When asked if he sensed the players in the locker room had given up at any point during the current stretch of losses, Kings coach Alvin Gentry said the group would “be crazy” to do so.
“I think the losses are stacking up and that is something they would have to answer individually,” Gentry said. “We sure hope not because the opportunity that we have to be an NBA player and the lifestyle that it affords you, I think you have to be crazy to quit.”
The Kings also dropped 12 consecutive games on the road from Nov. 12, 2010, to Jan. 12, 2011. They ended that streak two nights later, beating the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Fournier scored 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field — including 4 of 5 from 3-point range — to help New York take a 31-23 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Kings: De’Aaron Fox missed his fourth consecutive game due to a sore left ankle, but Gentry ruled out any long-term worries over the point guard’s absence. “I think that he is feeling much better,” Gentry said. “But until he feels that everything is there and that he can make the cuts laterally, we aren’t going to put him out there right now. But I am not concerned.”
Knicks: Outrebounded the Kings 47-36 … Rookie reserve Quentin Grimes scored 14 points in 23 minutes. … Obi Toppin added 14 points in 18 minutes off the bench.
The Knicks led by as many as 29 in the fourth quarter, prompting fans to chant seldom-used Cam Reddish’s name early in the period.
The rallying cry for the No. 10 pick in the 2019 NBA draft, who was acquired from Atlanta in a Jan. 13 trade, did not sway coach Tom Thibodeau’s decision to insert him with 5:07 left in regulation.
“We love our fans. There is no other place you’d rather be. This is the best place in the league to play, everyone knows it,” Thibodeau said. “We’re fortunate. They’re passionate about the team. They’re living and dying with us every game. We have a great appreciation for that. We love that they’re into the game. We have to give them something to be proud of.”
Kings: Host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.
Knicks: Host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
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