RJ Barrett called game. On Thursday at Madison Square Garden, Barrett banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to cap off a 25-point comeback victory for the New York Knicks in a 108-105 win against the Boston Celtics. Barrett’s game-winner came with Celtics forward Jason Tatum draped over him. As the ball fell through the net, the arena erupted and Barrett was swarmed by his teammates in celebration.
"It was a tough shot, but every time I shoot I think it's going in," Barrett said in a postgame interview. "Honestly, I didn't even see it because I fell. I didn't see it go in, but just by everyone else's reaction I could tell. That was cool."
Barrett’s shot completed a wild comeback in a game where the Knicks didn’t even take their first lead until a three-pointer from Evan Fournier gave New York a 99-98 advantage with 2:09 remaining. The comeback was New York’s largest since 2004, when the team came back from 26 points down against the Milwaukee Bucks. While Barrett sealed the victory, it was Fournier who led all scorers with a career-high 41 points, including 10 three-pointers. Barrett finished with 13 points in the game, none were more important than his final three. He also added six assists and three rebounds in 33 minutes.
“Just pushing,” he said of his approach in the game. “Keep pushing. My teammates [always] have my back. Thank god that coach put me in and I was able to make the shot.”
Through 32 games this season, Barrett is averaging 15.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Thursday’s game-winner capped a huge week for Barrett who led the Knicks with 32 points and eight rebounds in a win against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. Barrett is averaging 22.5 points in his last four games. In his on-court postgame interview, Barrett was quick to shift the focus to Fournier’s career-high.
This selfless nature is just one reason why Barrett’s teammates love sharing the floor with him. After scoring 16 points against the Celtics, Knicks guard Emmanuel Quickley tweeted immediately after the game to show his appreciation for Barrett’s big shot.
Barrett most recently represented Canada in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2020 in Victoria in June 2021. In three games, Barrett averaged 20.3 points, third overall in the tournament.