|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CTNaN:� , February 4, 2023
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Attendance: 19,812
Clippers, Knicks meet amid scrapping for playoff positioning
Los Angeles Clippers at New York Knicks
- Since the beginning of the 2000 calendar year, the Clippers are 29-14 (.674) against the Knicks, their third-best record against any opponent in the span (30-12 vs. Hornets, 31-14 vs. Bulls). However, LA has lost in each of the last three matchups.
- Los Angeles is allowing 8.7 fewer points per game at home (105.7) than on the road (114.4) this season. The Clippers have held an opponent to 100 or fewer points nine times at home this season, which trails only Cleveland entering the weekend (10 games).
- Norman Powell led the Clippers with 26 points off the bench against Milwaukee. It was Powell's 11th time scoring 20+ points off the bench this season, which trails only Bennedict Mathurin (21) and Russell Westbrook (13) entering the weekend.
- New York is coming off a 106-104 win over the Heat on Thursday. It was the Knicks' eighth win this season by three or fewer points, which trails only Miami (11 such wins).
- Quentin Grimes made three three-pointers on Thursday, putting him over 150 in his career. He reached the mark in 87 games, which is the third fastest in Knicks' history behind Danilo Gallinari (72 games) and Immanuel Quickley (83).
- As a starter, Terance Mann is shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 41.0 percent from three this season. He is one of three players to shoot at least 50.0 percent overall and 40.0 percent from three as a starter this season (min. 75 FGA & 3PA), joining Lauri Markkanen and Bruce Brown.
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The New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers each have about a third of the season left to play. But they each got reminders Thursday night how narrow the margins already are in the race for playoff seeding.
The Knicks and Clippers will be looking to get a chance to polish their finishing skills Saturday night, when New York is slated to host Los Angeles in the first game of the season between the teams.
Both teams were off Friday after playing eventful games with nearly identical final scores Thursday night.
The Knicks frittered away most of an 11-point, fourth-quarter lead and nearly blew a five-point edge in the final seconds before escaping with a 106-104 win over the visiting Miami Heat. The Clippers led by 21 points in the third quarter before the host Milwaukee Bucks stormed back behind a dominant fourth quarter by Giannis Antetokounmpo and earned a 106-105 victory.
The reverberations from Thursday night's chaotic endings could be felt when the playoffs -- or the play-in tournament -- begin in April.
The Knicks both led by 14 and trailed by three in the third quarter before mounting an 15-9 run to open the fourth and take an 11-point lead with seven minutes left. New York then allowed the Heat to get within a possession six times before taking a seemingly insurmountable 106-101 lead on a dunk by Julius Randle with 5.2 seconds left.
After a timeout by the Heat, Max Strus hit a 3-pointer to pull Miami within two. Bam Adebayo was called for a foul, but Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra successfully challenged and overturned the call, which resulted in a turnover on Randle. Following another timeout, Tyler Herro missed a 3-pointer from the corner.
The win pulled the Knicks within a game of the Heat for the sixth and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Entering Friday's play, New York is also four games clear of the 11th-place Indiana Pacers, who fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 112-111 on Thursday.
"It was great, we needed it," Randle said after he finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds. "They're above us and we want to close that gap a little bit."
Despite not playing a conference foe Thursday, the Clippers could still be haunted by their loss down the stretch of the regular season. Los Angeles mounted a 48-23 run spanning almost 12 minutes to take a 76-55 lead with 7:26 remaining in the third and carried an 87-78 lead into the fourth before Antetokounmpo scored 20 points in the final 12 minutes.
Antetokounmpo, who finished with 54 points and 19 rebounds, scored the game's final points by hitting a pair of free throws with 1:47 left. He ended the evening by missing his final three shots and turning the ball over once, but the Clippers couldn't take advantage as they went 0-for-4 from the field. Kawhi Leonard missed three shots in the stretch, including an 18-footer just before the buzzer.
The loss, coupled with the Dallas Mavericks' 111-106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, dropped the Clippers into a virtual tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with the Mavericks. The fourth- through 13th-place in the West entered Friday separated by just three games.
"We did what we were supposed to, all the way up until the last couple minutes," said Clippers forward Paul George, who missed a 3-pointer with 43 seconds left.
Knicks guard Jalen Brunson is questionable due to a non-COVID illness. He sat out Thursday's game.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 3, 2023