Canadian rookie RJ Barrett had himself a game against the Atlanta Hawks!
The 19-year-old went off for a career-high 27 points to lead the New York Knicks to a comfortable 143-120 win at Madison Square Garden, their third win in their past four games.
Barrett was ultra-efficient, shooting 10-of-13 from the field and 2-of-3 from the three-point line, adding six rebounds, one assist and one steal in his 29 minutes.
His career night came after struggling in their past two games, where he failed to score in double figures, scoring a combined 15 points on 26.9% (7-of-26) shooting.
In front of his home crowd, Barrett brought a renewed sense of confidence to the floor, tormenting the Hawks defence all night, powering his way to the rim at will and getting out in transition.
He capped off his monster performance with this poster dunk over De'Andre Hunter in the fourth quarter.
HOMICIDE REPORTED- Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) December 18, 2019
VICTIM: DEANDRE HUNTER
SUSPECT: RJ BARRETT pic.twitter.com/CGe2flOIdc
With Barrett leading the charge, the Knicks piled on the points early, scoring 41 points in the first quarter, blowing the lead out to 22 points early in the second behind a 21-0 run.
The Knicks shot the lights out, on 55.8% from the field (53-of-95) and 46.4% from the three-point line (13-of-28) for their season-high 143 points - the most they've scored in regulation since 1980.
After the win, Barrett shared a moment with Hawks veteran Vince Carter, who helped pave the way for Canadian basketball during his time playing for the Toronto Raptors.
Year 1 x Year 22... @RjBarrett6 & @mrvincecarter15 share a moment postgame at MSG! #PhantomCam pic.twitter.com/isheSfp8ot- NBA (@NBA) December 18, 2019
"I mean, that's my OG, that's my guy," Barrett said in his on-court interview.
"To see him play here 22 years in, he's still killing us. So just appreciate watching a guy like that, [he] just told me to keep going and I'll be good in the league."
Barrett also became the first Canadian with multiple games of 25+ points and 5+ rebounds in the first 30 games of his career and joins Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Olynyk and Dillon Brooks as the only Canadians with multiple 25+ point games in their rookie season.
The Knicks, who are now 3-3 since firing head coach David Fizdale, finished with six players in double figures, with Mitchell Robinson adding a season-high 22 points, Marcus Morris Sr. 22, while Kevin Knox and Julius Randle had 17 each.
Trae Young led the Hawks with 42 points, while De'Andre Hunter added 19 and Kevin Huerter 14. In what was his final game at Madison Square Garden, Vince Carter signed off with 15 points off the bench.
👏 @mrvincecarter15 receives love from the New York crowd and puts up 15 PTS in his final game at @TheGarden! pic.twitter.com/CHMFo0CrbY- NBA (@NBA) December 18, 2019
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