Evan Fournier has netted more than 15 points in six games this season — including two of the last three — and the Knicks haven’t lost any of them.
Keeping their $78 million starting shooting guard consistently productive will be a key for the Knicks during a daunting stretch of games that continues Friday at home against the Suns.
Fournier netted 26 points, including 6-for-9 from 3-point range, in Tuesday’s win against the Lakers.
“I thought Evan was terrific. I thought that was huge for us,” Tom Thibodeau said. “He wasn’t hesitating. I thought they did a good job of searching him out early and then he knocked them down. He got into a good rhythm.”
Fournier also had buried five 3s and scored 19 points Saturday night in a win over Houston, but he missed six of seven field-goal attempts and managed only three points in a loss one night later in Chicago.
Still, he came out firing against the Lakers, nailing three early shots from long distance on his way to becoming the first Knicks player to record at least two games of more than 25 points and at least six made 3-pointers over the team’s first 20 games since Danilo Galinari in 2009.
“Just taking what the defense gives him,” Julius Randle said of Fournier. “He is finding space running the floor really well. … He is just finding the space to make himself available.
“From my perspective, he’s making himself available on the double team, and we are finding him. He is a great player. He is a really good player, he has been playing for a really long time. He can really shoot the ball, so we have to take advantage of that.”
Thibodeau offered minor updates on the three players who sat out Tuesday’s game due to injury — Mitchell Robinson (concussion), Derrick Rose (ankle) and Taj Gibson (groin) — but didn’t say whether he expects them to play Friday against Phoenix.
“[Robinson’s] got to go through all the protocols, he’s making progress. So if he gets cleared, he’ll be a go,” Thibodeau said. “There’s a progression to it, so he’s going through each phase, and there’s still more for him to go through before he’s cleared.”
On Rose and Gibson, Thibodeau added: “They’re doing a little bit, but they’re still day-to-day. They haven’t gone through a regular practice.”