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RJ Barrett suffers frightening knee injury in win over Wizards – The Denver Post

WASHINGTON — The Knicks won in basketball but lost in ping-pong and, more importantly, lost their best player.

RJ Barrett, the emerging face of the franchise, suffered a “sprained knee” in the second quarter of Friday night’s 114-92 win over the Wizards, according to the team.

Barrett was injured while driving over two Wizards defenders, landing awkwardly as his right leg curled inward. He collected an impressive assist from the play to cross Jericho Sims, but quickly ran off the pitch clutching his knee. Barrett never returned to the bench as the Knicks ran away with the win behind Obi Toppin’s career-high 35 points, putting them one game ahead of the Wizards for 11th place in the East.

Victory could decrease their lottery chances, but the bigger question is Barrett’s health. He finished with 14 points in 15 minutes and will likely join teammates Julius Randle and Derrick Rose on the inactive roster for Sunday’s season finale against the Raptors. Since MRIs aren’t usually given at game venues, Barrett could still have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

It’s a disheartening end to an otherwise encouraging third season for the 21-year-old. He’s averaging over 20 points per game and has begun to embrace his status as a team leader since Randle’s downward spiral.

Barrett is also eligible for a post-season contract extension, with the Knicks debating whether to offer a maximum deal worth five years, $181 million.

“I said from day one that I wanted to come here. I haven’t worked for any other team (in the draft),” Barrett said. “That’s where I want to be. I love playing for the Knicks. I love playing in the backyard. I love how we got to the playoffs last year and I’m looking to do it again I love everything about being a Knick Yeah, 100% where I want to be.

Adding frustration to the injury, the game meant nothing but ping-pong balls (with the Wizards, not the Knicks, now in position to enter the lottery’s top 10). Both teams are eliminated from the playoffs, and the Wizards took advantage of the circumstances by seating three starters – Kristaps Porzingis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma – trotting on a roster that doesn’t appreciate paying fans for their appreciation night. fans at Capital One Arena. .

The Knicks responded by sitting down their usual suspects – Randle, Derrick Rose and Mitchell Robinson – but Barrett was determined to finish his season on the court.

Now he won’t.

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