R.J. Barrett connected on an absolutely improbable three-pointer off Jason Tatum‘s stick mark with no time on the clock to lead the New York Knicks to a phenomenal comeback that filled Madison Square Garden with jubilation on Thursday in a 108-105 victory over the Boston Celtics.
But except for that last shot, the credit for the victory did not go to Barrett, but to Frenchman Evan Fournier, who disguised himself as Stephen Curry in the fourth quarter to complete a comeback from a 25-point first-half deficit.
Evan Fournier, the owner of the Celtics
Fournier, who came to the Knicks for this season in a trade from the Celtics, has owned Boston since his arrival in New York but this game was a game of another level of dominance.
It was a personal best for the #20 overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets with 41 points (13 in the fourth quarter) product of 10 three-pointers on 14 attempts.
Fournier shines against the Celtics, as he scored 32 in his Knicks debut on October 20, 2021 in a 138-134 overtime win and the same 32 in a 114-107 loss on December 18 of the same year.
Overall, the point guard is averaging 12.8 points so far this season, but 35 against Boston.
Jayson Tatum’s great effort was wasted
Despite the loss, it was a big game for Jayson Tatum who at one point in the final quarter racked up 11 straight points for the top-ranked NBA champions tied with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Tatum had tied the scored with a two-point basket with 1.5 seconds to play and in total recorded 36 points in his second game after returning from his second COVID-19 infection.
The green jerseys have a slab in close games, as they now have a 2-11 mark this season in games decided by five points or less.
What’s next for the Knicks and Celtics?
New York (19-20) accumulated two wins and is tenth in the Eastern Conference, while Boston (18-21) is just below in eleventh place with two losses in a row.
The two teams will meet again at TD Garden next Saturday to close out their annual series in a 75-year rivalry.