Knicks Comeback Falls Short to Gold in Regular Season Opener

By ahawleyalexander | January 5, 2022

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – January 5, 2022 – The Westchester Knicks, the official NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knicks, were defeated by the Grand Rapids Gold, 127-108, Wednesday night at DeltaPlex Arena, to open the 2021-22 NBA G League regular season slate.

Tyler Hall (Returning Rights) led the Knicks (0-1) offensive attack with a career-high 31 points, tying his career-high with six three-point shots made, together with a team-high six assists and five rebounds. Luka Samanic (Two-Way) scored 26 points, in his return following a four-game hiatus, to go along with nine rebounds and four assists. In his first game with the team, Jordan Allen (Available Player Pool) contributed 15 points and eight rebounds off the bench. VJ King (Returning Rights) chipped in with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Grand Rapids (1-0) was led by Matt Ryan’s 32 points and three players contributing double-doubles, Kenneth Faried (20 PTS, 12 REBS), Trevon Duval (19 PTS, 11 ASTS), and Giorgi Bezhanishvili (10 PTS, 14 REBS).

The Gold scored the game’s opening basket in a tightly contested opening quarter, before blowing open the game in the latter half of the first, leading 39-18 after one. Grand Rapids maintained its lead in the second, opening up a comfortable double-digit lead throughout the second. Westchester continued to fight, but could not cut through the deficit, with the home team leading 70-48 at the half.

In the third, the Knicks would not let up, continuing to chip away at the Gold’s advantage throughout the frame, ultimately severing the lead to single digits at the end of three, 93-84.

In the opening minute of the final quarter, Hall drained back-to-back three-point baskets making it a one possession game, 93-90, with 11:13 remaining in the game. The score was then tied at 98-up with 9:16 left on a Samanic triple. The Knicks took the lead briefly, 101-100, on Dewan Hernandez’s (Returning Rights) free-throw with 8:44 left, before Grand Rapids took control of the game, ultimately beating Westchester 127-108. Hernandez finished with 11 points in his first game with Westchester.

Each team will get a day before competing again in Grand Rapids on Friday, January 7 at 7:00 PM ET.