RJ Barrett’s career night put him amongst some elite company. In the New York Knicks’ 123-117 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, Barrett showed out in front of his college teammate, Zion Williamson, posting a career-high 35 points, eight rebounds, six assists and six 3-pointers.
According to Tommy Beer of Forbes, the only other players to post Barrett’s stat line before their 22nd birthday are LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Trae Young and Luka Doncic.
Barrett’s stats have taken a back seat before tonight as he adjusts to playing with Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, who New York signed as free agents this past offseason. He came into tonight’s game averaging just 13.6 points on the season while shooting just 26.9% from beyond the arc. Although he has still been contributing with tremendous defense, his offensive production hasn’t been very strong.
Tonight, though, Barrett stepped up big time. He scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, including three triples, to hold off the comeback attempts from the Pelicans. Walker and Fournier each scored 19 points.
After being picked third overall in the 2019 draft, Barrett has played a huge part in the Knicks’ resurgence. His vast improvements from his rookie year helped New York reach the playoffs last season. His job this year is to play stellar defense while providing a little bit of everything on offense.
Barrett’s efforts helped the Knicks improve to 5-1 on the season. New York’s next game is on Monday against the Toronto Raptors.