Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett looking for their shots

CLEVELAND — Immanuel Quickley suddenly needs to rediscover his sixth sense. RJ Barrett can’t buy many buckets right now, either.

Quickley, the Knicks’ all-important Sixth Man of the Year finalist, puzzlingly endured his second consecutive quiet offensive game as the Cavaliers evened first-round playoff series with a thorough 107-90 win in Game 2.

And Barrett now is shooting 25.0 percent (6-for-24) through two games after missing eight of 12 attempts Tuesday night at Rocket Mortgage Field House.

“I haven’t played as well as I’ve wanted to obviously,” Quickley said. “Whether you’re missing shots or not, it’s never a reason not to play defense. So just gotta be better, defensively, everybody, but it starts with me. Looking in the mirror and just finding ways to help the team. Just being better overall.”

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Immanuel Quickley #5 high fives RJ Barrett #9.
NBAE via Getty Images

After clanking all five of his field-goal attempts and scoring just three points in the Knicks’ Game 1 victory, Quickley scored 10 of his 12 points Tuesday in the fourth quarter, when the game was out of reach.

“Honestly, every game is new. I don’t take one game, the past game, I try not to do that,” Quickley said when asked if he can carry his late points into Game 3 on Friday at the Garden. “Just simply because every game is a new game. You start zero-for-zero. It’s 1-1 in the series, and you just move on to the next game.”

Quickley hardly was alone, however, in his wayward accuracy.

Leading scorers Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson hit just 13 of 37 combined attempts, with Brunson shooting 1-for-8 from long distance.

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Quickley, Barrett and Quentin Grimes had combined to shoot 3-for-22 in Game 1, also featuring a 2-for-12 night from Barrett from the floor.

That trio wasn’t much better in the second game of the series, finishing 8-for-23, with Barrett scoring 14 points on 4-for-13 shooting from the floor.

“I’m a shooter. Also, been getting a lot of free throws. So my shot’s fine,” Barrett said.

Added coach Tom Thibodeau: “It’s part of the game, just shoot your shots. You’re open, shoot it, if you’re guarded and there are two, three people on you, make the simple play, trust the pass. The game tells you what to do. If they’re collapsing, it’s fine, just trust [your teammates]. You’re open, shoot it. You’re guarded, pass it.

“It’s the playoffs … again, same thing with [Quickley], he can help us in a lot of different ways. Just make the team function well. So if you’re not shooting well, that doesn’t necessarily impact how you can perform.”