Immanuel Quickley sits out the absence of Knicks with knee pain

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TORONTO — As if the loss of Mitchell Robinson wasn’t enough, the Knicks were without another key member of their rotation Sunday night.

Valuable reserve Immanuel Quickley missed his first game of the season with a sore left knee. His status is unclear for the future. Quickley was a game-time decision.

“Just general soreness,” coach Tom Thibodeau said before the Knicks lost to the Raptors 125-116 for the fourth straight game.

The 6-foot-3 Quickley is having a strong season averaging career-best 12.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 27.4 minutes. He had 11 points in 36 minutes in Friday’s loss to the Hawks.

Despite shooting just 33.2% from 3-point range, other areas of his game have improved, particularly on defense.

Quickley has the highest defensive rating (105.9) on the Knicks and his +6.2 NET rating is second on the team. Only Robinson, who is out for the next month with a sprained right thumb, is better at 8.0. Quickley is durable. He appeared in 78 games last year.

Immanuel Quickley missed the first game of the season Sunday night as he struggled with knee pain. Charles Wenzelberg

Thibodeau stuck with a nine-man rotation in Quickley’s absence, using veteran Evan Fournier in his place. Fournier, who last appeared in a game against the Bucks on January 9, scored eight points in 21 minutes.

“I thought he gave us good minutes,” Thibodeau said of the veteran. “He was in the rotation before. i like the size [on] the wings. You are tall. So I figured a little bit more might help.”

Obi Toppin eventually produced offensively and hit double figures for the first time since November 13th. He scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half, all on 3-pointers. The four triples were a season high for the forward. He played only three minutes of the second half.

RJ Barrett received a standing ovation from the Scotiabank Arena crowd in the pregame introductions. Barrett hails from nearby Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto. He scored a game high 30 points in the loss.


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