A part of being a profitable NBA workforce is the notion that matchups towards lower-echelon opponents will be construed as entice video games, particularly coming off the emotional nature of a win like Sunday’s double-overtime thriller for the Knicks in Boston.

Tom Thibodeau’s rolling squad fell flat Tuesday night time, blowing a 16-point halftime result in the Hornets and taking pictures 5-for-26 within the fourth quarter to halt their nine-game successful streak with a torpid 112-105 loss on the Backyard.

RJ Barrett scored 27 factors, however Julius Randle shot 5-for-17 and completed with 16 for the Knicks, who will embark on a four-game West Coast swing starting Thursday night time in Sacramento.

After lacking the Knicks’ double-overtime win Sunday in Boston, start line guard Jalen Brunson sat out his second consecutive recreation with a sore left foot. Level guard LaMelo Ball (ankle) additionally was out for the Hornets, who personal the second-worst file within the Japanese Convention (21-46).

“I feel each recreation is a entice recreation. You’re proper, it’s human nature, too. You let your guard down a little bit bit, you’re going to slide,” Thibodeau mentioned earlier than the sport. “This league is just too good. You have a look at Charlotte the final 10 video games, they’re 5-5.

Julius Randle, who scored simply 16 factors, argues with an official throughout the Knicks’ 112-105 loss to the Hornets.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Publish

“So for those who’re not able to play … what occurred final recreation has nothing to do with this recreation. So you must be sure to get the right quantity of preparation and that we’re able to play. … They’re very athletic and so they can rating the ball so we have now to be at our greatest.”

Kelly Oubre Jr. led Charlotte with 27 factors, Terry Rozier had 25 and Gordon Hayward added 23.

Earlier than the sport, Hornets coach Steve Clifford mentioned he considers Thibodeau “a detailed pal and a mentor,” so it was hardly shocking that he was complimentary of the streaking Knicks. The opposing bench bosses have been assistant coaches along with the Knicks from 2001-03 and in addition with the Rockets beneath Jeff Van Gundy from 2004-07.

Tom Thibodeau argues a call during the third quarter of the Knicks' loss.
Tom Thibodeau argues a name throughout the third quarter of the Knicks’ loss.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Publish

“I do know this, they’ve a perception proper now, you may see that once they step on the ground,” Clifford mentioned. “Proper now they’re scoring. Their offense has been terrific.

Coming off a standout efficiency Sunday in Boston — 38 factors in 55 minutes — Quickley missed his first 5 photographs, together with 4 from 3-point vary, in 10 scoreless minutes within the first quarter. The Knicks shot 3-for-13 from past the arc and have been tied, 21-21, by means of one interval.

Barrett discovered his groove alongside the four-man second unit, with 13 factors within the first six minutes of the second quarter, for 17 earlier than halftime.

RJ Barrett, who scored a team-high 27 points, goes up for a layup during the Knicks' loss.
RJ Barrett, who scored a team-high 27 factors, goes up for a layup throughout the Knicks’ loss.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Po

Quickley buried his first 3-pointer of the night time from the nook for a nine-point cushion, after which hit one other from the precise facet for a 13-point cushion with 3:14 remaining till intermission. He transformed a conventional three-point play lower than one minute later.

Quentin Grimes (12 factors) nailed his second 3-pointer of the half earlier than beating the clock with a reverse layup because the Knicks led, 66-50, by means of two quarters.

The Hornets chipped away within the third, nonetheless, and so they used an 11-0 run to seize a one-point lead, 87-86, with 52.1 seconds left.

Obi Toppin’s 3-pointer put the Knicks again up by two coming into the fourth, Josh Hart (9 factors) netted 4 factors and Deuce McBride sank a runner early within the ultimate interval to push the lead again to eight. Consecutive 3-point buckets by Hayward and Oubre made it a one-point recreation, and Rozier tied it, 100-100, with a jumper with 3:22 to go.

Hayward’s three-point play put the Hornets forward one possession later, and after Randle cast one other tie with a spinning drive, Hayward sank a pull-up jumper and Oubre buried one other 3 for a 108-103 Charlotte lead with 58 seconds to play.

After Randle hit two free throws, Hayward dedicated an offensive foul to offer the Knicks again the ball. However Randle was known as for a unfastened ball foul off a Quickley miss on the different finish, and Rozier nailed each free throws to replenish the five-point lead with 29.1 seconds to play.