Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Randle returned from the COVID-19 list to post a double-double -- 30 points and 16 rebounds -- and RJ Barrett scored 32 points as the host New York Knicks (18-20) fended off the Indiana Pacers (14-24) to earn a 104-94 (32-25, 23-30, 29-22, 20-17) win Tuesday night.

Player of the Game
Julius  Randle
EFF
37
Julius Randle
Points 30
Accuracy 12-20
Rebounds 16
Assists 4

Barrett scored 19 points in the first quarter for the Knicks, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Alec Burks added 14 points and Immanuel Quickley tallied 11 points off the bench.

Keifer Sykes, a 28-year-old rookie who had just 12 points total in his first three NBA games, scored 22 for the depleted Pacers, who lost their fifth straight. Indiana has seven players in COVID-19 protocols, including three of its top five scorers in Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, and Chris Duarte.

Duane Washington Jr., playing in just his seventh NBA game, scored 17 points while Domantas Sabonis and Torrey Craig had 15 apiece.

Sykes hit a trio of 3-pointers to stake the Pacers to an 18-10 lead, but Barrett scored 10 straight points during a 16-0 run by the Knicks, who carried a 32-25 lead into the second quarter.

New York led by as many as 12, but Indiana ended the half on an 18-8 run, which concluded with Sykes draining a 13-footer to tie the score at 55-55.

Sabonis opened the second half with a tie-breaking layup and Randle responded with a 3-pointer, after which the teams were tied five times -- the last on Oshae Brissett's dunk with 4:31 left.

After Randle's 3-pointer put the Knicks up 73-70, the Pacers twice got within a point before New York closed the quarter on a 9-3 run to go up 84-77.

Justin Anderson started the fourth by scoring five unanswered points for the Pacers, who again twice closed within a point but could not take the lead.

Lance Stephenson was whistled for an offensive foul with Indiana down 88-87, after which Burks hit a 17-footer. The teams combined to miss their next six shots before Randle's 19-footer gave the Knicks a 97-93 lead.

The Pacers answered with three straight free throws, but Barrett sank a jumper to begin a stretch in which the Knicks put the game away by hitting four of five shots.

Knicks: R.J. Barrett 32 (10/15 2PT, 2/5 3PT, 6/8 FT, 8 REB), Julius Randle 30 (10/13 2PT, 2/7 3PT, 16 REB, 4 AST), Alec Burks 14 (5/8 2PT, 0/5 3PT, 6 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL), Immanuel Quickley 11.

Pacers: Keifer Sykes 22 (4/8 2PT, 4/8 3PT, 6 AST), Duane Washington 17 (5/9 2PT, 1/7 3PT, 4 AST), Domantas Sabonis 15 (5/6 2PT, 5/12 FT, 8 REB, 4 AST), Torrey Craig 15 (2/2 3PT, 7 REB).

Full game highlights:

RJ Barrett highlights:

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2022-01-10
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New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers
49%
39/80
Field goals
42%
32/76
59
Rebounds
45
17
Assists
22
6
Steals
3
63%
33/52
2-pointers
61%
23/38
0
Blocks
3

Best players

R.J.  Barrett
32 PTS
12/20 FG
6/8 FT
Keifer  Sykes
22 PTS
8/16 FG
2/3 FT
Julius  Randle
16 REB
16 DREB
0 OREB
Domantas  Sabonis
8 REB
7 DREB
1 OREB
New York Knicks
Few players
4 As
Keifer  Sykes
6 As
1 TO
38 MIN
Julius  Randle
37 EFF
77% 2P%
29% 3P%
Keifer  Sykes
21 EFF
50% 2P%
50% 3P%