Sports Update 

The Knicks suffered their second straight loss, losing Jalen Bronson to an injury

March 9, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) drives the basket against Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Huerter (9) during the first quarter at the Golden 1 Center. Mandatory credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Randle could not repeat his clutch moment in Miami.

Randle had a costly turnover down the stretch as the stalwart New York Knicks fumbled a comeback early in their four-game wild ride.

NBA leader D’Aaron Fox took control in the fourth quarter to lead the resurgent Sacramento Kings to a 122-117 win over the Knicks Thursday night in Golden 1.

Too bad Jalen Bronson wasn’t around to challenge Fox.

Bronson scored 19 points in the first half, but did not return after the second period due to an injured left foot. Fox, who had only eight points in the first half, put in an impressive performance. Fox lost 15 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter because he had an answer for every Knicks half.

RJ Barrett, who led the Knicks with 25 points, briefly tied the game 96-96 with a three-pointer to beat the shot clock bell. But Fox responded with seven straight points that frustrated the Knicks.

Josh Hart’s stellar all-around game was offended by his crucial inside play turnover that allowed Domantas Sabonis to extend the Kings’ lead to nine with 2:09 left. The Knicks mounted another rally, pumping Randle in four points in a 7-0 Knicks run to pull them inside a basket.

Fox was there to fight back. His strong drive gave the Kings four-point protection.

Then Randall momentarily lost his handle as he fell.

The Kings achieved their 39th win by shooting a free throw.

It was a tough loss for the Knicks, who struggled from a 16-point halftime deficit and as many as 21 points behind at halftime.

Hart epitomized New York’s resilience with 15 rebounds, including a franchise record eight offensive rebounds by the guard. The Knicks grabbed 23 offensive rebounds, converting it into 17 points on the second chance that led to their comeback in the second half.

Hart added nine points, seven assists, and three steals, but his inside fumble dogged them.

They sorely missed Bronson’s calm drive in the clutch.

Bronson hit 6 of 12 shots in the first half, but the team’s dreadful shot put them in a deep hole.

The Knicks shot 6 of 24 from downtown in the first two quarters. They ended up going 13-for-50 from deep, with Quentin Grimes (19 points) accounting for four of the Knicks’ seven points in the second half.

Their shooting problems were compounded in the first half by their inability to stop Sabonis, who hit five of his first six shots. A double-double league leader, Sabonis finished with a triple-double (24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists) to complement Fox’s plays.

Randle went 2-for-9 in the first half for 23 points. He added 10 rebounds and five assists for 39 double-doubles.

Emmanuel Kwikli has been a huge disappointment since his Boston career. He missed his first ten attempts before sinking with a three-pointer late in the game.

The Knicks need for Quickley to increase Bronson’s availability for the remainder of their West Coast trip is now uncertain. Bronson’s potential absence has put the Knicks in a bind as they try to retain the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with 14 games remaining.

The second consecutive loss dropped them to 39-29 after a nine-game winning streak. Despite this, they maintained their one-game lead over the sixth-seeded Brooklyn Nets (37-29), who lost in Milwaukee.

The Knicks will continue their journey against two Los Angeles teams – the Clippers and Lakers – in back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday.

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